So this is your first time running a marathon. You have made it about halfway through your training program and you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. You may still have some questions looming that you may not have the answers to. Listed below are some frequently asked questions of first-time marathoners.
Should I run through pain?
How can I avoid and treat muscle cramps?
Muscle cramps are common among runners, especially long distances. Muscle cramps are usually due to poor hydration including water and electrolyte imbalances. It is important to hydrate before, during and after your run. Try to drink 16-24 ounces of water about an hour before the start of your run. During your run you should take approximately 6-8 ounces every 20-30 minutes including some form of electrolyte replacement (sports drink) as cramps are usually due to imbalance of electrolytes. Following your run be sure to rehydrate with water or a sports drink. If you do experience a cramp mid-run, stop, stretch out the affected area gently holding each stretch for approximately 30 seconds, and repeat three times.
How can I prevent blisters on my feet? Or what about a black toenail?
Most likely during the course of your training you will experience a blister or a bruised toenail. Not to worry, you are not the only one! Typically, blisters are caused by friction and moisture. Be sure your shoes fit properly and are not too small or too big. Also make sure that you are wearing moisture wicking socks that pull moisture from your feet. Try Vaseline for blisters.
What should I do if I get a side stitch while running?
Eating too soon before a run may lead to a side stitch or cramp while running. Be sure to eat approximately 2-3 hours before your run. If a side stitch does occur mid run attempt to slow down your breathing by inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth to use more of a stomach breathing technique opposed to chest breathing.
If you have any additional questions as you train for this year’s race, post them below!