Chicago Marathon Medical Director Offers Tips for a Healthy Race Day

Northwestern Medicine
Health and Wellness October 02, 2012
If you’re running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon this Sunday, October 7, chances are you’ve been training for months. Although this may be the case, Northwestern Medicine emergency and sports medicine physician George Chiampas, DO, stresses the importance of early preparation for the big race.

“Running 26.2 miles takes a significant toll on the body,” said Chiampas, who is serving as the Marathon’s medical director for the sixth consecutive year. “Runners should prepare appropriately in the days leading up to the event.”

According to Chiampas, runners should focus on the following as they prepare for the race:

Eat smart before the race. During the 48-72 hours and evening prior, enjoy a meal full of protein and carbohydrates.

Get a good night’s sleep during the week leading up to the race in order to get plenty of rest.

Check the forecast before heading out the door. Meteorologists are expecting cooler temperatures for this year’s race. Dress in layers so you’re able to shed clothing as needed.

Benefit from breakfast about two hours before your start time. Enjoy a high protein breakfast balanced with carbohydrates and fat while avoiding sugary foods.

Stay with what’s familiar and don’t change up your routine on race day. Wear clothes and shoes you’ve worn before and don’t try any new foods or drinks.

Pace yourself even though your adrenaline may cause you to start at a faster speed.

Hydrate regularly to avoid dehydration or over-hydration. Both can cause serious threats to runners.

Post-race, stretch thoroughly and ice any areas that are sore. Enjoy a meal that is high in protein to help repair damage and start your recovery phase.

Read the full story for more tips and information from Dr. Chiampas.
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