Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Lessons Learnt From Berlin Marathon 2012

1)    Ensure that you are injury-free before racing. I raced with eight weeks of non-running activities after I was diagnosed with a stress fracture to my left foot. A few short test-runs gave me the confidence to race in Berlin.
2)    Check for symptoms, and the emergence of symptoms before, during, and after your race
3)    Post-race injuries can take 2-3 days to show. After the adrenaline and endorphins fade, the pains surface. Bruised toes, chaffing and blisters take about 24 hours to fully express themselves.
4)    Race with adequately cushioned shoes, but never brand-new ones. Alternate between two pairs, just in case one pair is wet or deteriorates.
5)    Be vigilant about your position, relative to others. Misplaced steps can lead to injury.
6)    If you need to walk, drink to the side of the road (away from runners), or stay in the middle of the road.
7)    Stick to your training plan: nutrition (as you trained with), hydration (avoid the sports drink if have GI sensitivity), electrolytes (bring your own salt tablets), pacing, heart-rate limits.
8)    Enjoy the last few kilometres of the race, as you put in your last ‘bursts’. Remember to do your post-recovery upon crossing the line: water, carbohydrates (simple), mild stretching, lymphatic draining (lie on your back with legs raised), and ingest more liquids. Keep walking until you reach home.
9)    Always have travel insurance. My luggage was misplaced in Berlin when I arrived in London. It is unpleasant to have to wear yesterday’s clothes.
10) Carry an extra set of clothes, including a sweater. It can get chilly onboard. Dress to avoid windchill during a cold race. I wore a hoodie (to keep my head warm), compression top and bottom, added a long-sleeved riding top, and running-shorts (for modesty reasons). A wind-breaker or sweater after the event helps ward off any risk of hypothermia.

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