Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=208689
Story Retrieval Date: 12/7/2013 4:42:39 AM CST
Medill News Service archive photo
Dr. George Chiampas, the Marathon’s medical director for the sixth year in a row and a sports medicine and emergency physician at Northwestern Medicine, offers advice.
In the 48-72 hours before the race, eat meals rich in protein and carbohydrates and avoid alcoholic beverages. For race day breakfast, stick to carbohydrates and protein, but add fat and avoid all sugary foods.
Maintain a regular sleep schedule the week leading up to the race. That will leave you feeling well rested even if pre-race nerves keep you up later than you expect.
According to forecasts, the temperature is going to hover in the mid-30’s come race time. Make sure to dress in layers that you can shed, as it will continue to warm up as the day goes on. Participants should be sure to listen for the Event Alert Systems sent out through the Marathon if weather conditions take a turn and becomes dangerous. For the latest weather information, check The Weather Channel.
Stick with it
Many marathoners change their routines even before they step up to the starting line. Chiampas recommends wearing the same, familiar shoes and clothes worn on long runs. This is not the time to try out new drinks or food.
Nerves and excitement can lead runners to bolt off the line, not a recommended practice. In the end, it can actually hinder performance and cause health issues after the race. Running at a steady pace is best. But be aware of changes in weather, such as wind, that might impact pace or require adjustment.
Dehydration is one issue runners need to be worried about. But over-hydration also can pose a serious threat. Hyponatermia is a condition that occurs when fluid intake exceeds your rate of fluid loss from sweating and results in abnormally low blood-sodium levels. As, the body’s water levels rise, cells begin to swell. Chiampas encourages race participants who experience symptoms of nausea, dizziness or disorientation to seek medical attention immediately.
Assistance at the race
Chiampas and his team of 1,400 medical volunteers will be stationed at three medical stations and 20 aid stations throughout the race course.