Medical tips so that you can safely and successfully run the Valencia Marathon
You will run in the Valencia-Trinidad Alfonso EDP Marathon 2019 on the 1st of December and we want to make sure you safely complete the race. That is why we in the Marathon’s Medical Services encourage you to follow your training plan so that you leave nothing to chance on the big day.
So far, you have only run kilometres to build muscle tone but from September onwards, you will start the special training for the Marathon itself. You will find different kinds of Marathon training on our web site so we will not go into detail here.The key thing is that you follow a plan drawn up by a professional coach and alternate strength-building exercises and long sessions with relaxing days and stretching so as to avoid injuries. Obviously, you need to keep up a training rhythm and stick to our suggested programmes. Above all, you need to be responsible and know what you are taking on so that you can safely run and finish the 42,195-metre race in Valencia Ciudad del Running. Leaving aside the training plans, we would like to give you some general tips now that you are starting special preparation for The Marathon. Follow them to make sure that your experience of the Valencia Marathon is one that you will cherish forever.
1. Safety and Health are of paramount importance
We want you to be in tip-top health on the day of the race. With three months to go until the Marathon, now is a good time to go for a medical check-up if you have not already done so. Just like at work, where there are medical check-ups, it is important that you start your Marathon training in good health. Nutritional deficiencies, anaemia, changes to the body’s electrolyte balance, and so on can be picked up through simple analytic tests. If you have never had a medical check-up, now is the moment to consult a specialist, who will suggest the appropriate tests in your case.
If you are over 40 or suffer from certain chronic diseases (high blood pressure, Diabetes, Dyslipidemia, and so forth), it is vital that you tell your usual doctor about your plans to run the Marathon. We recommend you also have an annual check-up to make sure you are healthy enough to compete in the trial.
2. Training nutrition
What you eat and drink is directly linked to your performance. Three months before the Valencia Marathon, you will begin strenuous physical activity in the build-up for the race. This means following an appropriate diet.
Avoid alcohol, drugs, and other toxic substances.
Make breakfast your main meal.
Follow a varied diet based on carbohydrates and proteins.
Avoid saturated fats and instead eat unsaturated ones (such as those found in Olive Oil and in blue fish).
To sum up, follow a balanced, healthy diet.
3. Proper Hydration from day one
It is a mistake to only drink enough water in the days shortly before the Marathon. In the same way that we need to follow a diet that meets our physical needs, we must also make sure that we drink enough.
The body has to get used to a higher intake of liquids.
It is also important to take advantage of the long running sessions to check our liquid-intake strategy for the race. As we said earlier, you cannot leave anything to chance.
4. Train responsibly. Do not take risks
We cannot over-stress that running a Marathon calls for a great deal of preparation. Before beginning the special training in the three months before the race, you must already be able to run 20 kilometres in one go. If you have not yet reached this point, you should ask yourself whether you ought to run the Marathon some other time, when you have proved to yourself that you can easily run a race over half the distance.
In the first week of special training for the Marathon, you must not boost the number of kilometres you run by over 10% compared with those you ran in each of the previous few weeks.
The training programme has rest days and recovery days, especially after several days of intensive training. Over-training is counter-productive and only leads to injury.
This is the moment to put all your kit to the test. Running shoes, running shirt, gels, socks, or anything else that is new during the race can bring your efforts to naught. You have 3 months to thoroughly test everything you will need for the Marathon itself.
5. Listen to your body and take care of yourself
Always: Listen to your body: Stay healthy! Incorporate stretching sessions in your training for the Marathon. It is not just a question of strengthening your legs; simple squatting and abdominal exercises will strengthen your ‘core’ and beef up your buttocks, boosting your performance.
If you feel pain or do not feel well during these 3 months, it is important that you slow down or even stop for a couple of days. If this does not solve the problem, consult a doctor as soon as possible. You might think you are wasting time but you have everything to gain in the long run.
If you feel unwell during the race, seek help from a health worker or a volunteer and you will be attended to straightaway. Listen to your body and take action if you notice something out of the ordinary. Do not ignore the problem! Take special care over the last few kilometres because that is when you make the greatest effort and you are at your weakest.
These simple tips can be summed up in two words: Common Sense. You are already halfway there if your training and lifestyle dovetail. Be sensible when it comes to your training for the race.
We want to see you in fine fettle on the 1st of December in Valencia!
Dr. Luis Cort is the Chief Medical Officer for the Valencia Marathon