by Paul Koks in Training Tips, image by Lululemon Athletica

Excellent Tips to Prevent Marathon Running Injuries

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Marathon running injuries are one of the facts of life that serious runners have to face. Any time you are planning to run for a distance of 26.2 miles you know that there are going to be challenges and hurdles that you will have to overcome. Perhaps the worst of these are those running injuries that are most frequently seen with distance running.

If you are aware of these potential problems you might be able to prevent them from occurring. At the very least you can be prepared and this preparation could just be enough to allow you to complete your run. No matter what happens in a marathon, many running injuries are completely preventable.

Blood Blisters

This is an area where some type of trauma has occurred and there is blood that has pooled under the top layers of skin on your foot. A blood blister can also occur underneath your toenail. When this happens it will cause your toenail to become black and blue.

Usually the blood blister under your toe is due to the impact of your toe continually sliding forward and hitting the interior surface of the running shoe. Although these marathon running injuries can occur anywhere on the foot they will usually appear at the tips of your toes or under the toenail.

Making sure your running shoes are the proper fit and lacing the shoes tightly are two ways to help prevent blood blisters during a marathon event. If your foot is constantly pushed forward in the shoe you will be at higher risk of developing these types of injuries.

Friction Burns

Some people call this chafing or abrasion but no matter what you call friction burns these are marathon running injuries that can cause extreme pain and discomfort. You can develop a friction burn any place where your skin is rubbing against other areas of skin or coming in contact with clothing or shoes.

The backs of your heels, around the top of your shoes or even the area between your thighs are prime sites for friction burns to occur. Cornstarch is a good prevention measure that can help you avoid these common injuries. There are also silicone-based skin products that are available. Even a lubricating product such as petroleum jelly can provide some temporary relief.

Need we mention that dehydration can lead to a number of marathon running injuries? In addition to the dry tongue and dry mouth syndromes, too little fluid intake can quickly cause dizziness, fainting and other aches and pains. Many runners stumble and fall due to dehydration problems.

Basics about Friction Blisters

Blisters on your feet can affect any runner but those who run a marathon will generally have blisters on both feet by the time the marathon has ended. Dedicated runners will have tough, callused feet but even the toughest feet can still benefit from the right socks, shoes, foot pads and powders. Keeping your feet dry and reducing friction are two factors that are extremely important when it comes to the prevention of these common marathon running injuries.

If foot blisters are causing pain and discomfort you may be unable to complete a race. When you suspect a blister is developing you should bandage the area with gauze wrap or moleskin. Padding the area where the blister has formed could be the key that keeps you contention.

Weather Related Injuries

Sunburned skin, chapped lips, dry eyes and windburn are all well-known ailments for serious runners. These types of problems are always near the top of the list when marathon running injuries are being documented.

You should use sunscreen, lip emollients, hats, sunglasses and other products that can protect your eyes and skin from these types of injuries.

Low Salt (Hyponatremia)

One of the most serious injuries in a marathon is caused by a runner drinking too much water. This can lead to a depletion of salt (sodium) in your body. When this happens it can lead to fainting, seizures or other very serious health complications.

Most runners are going to experience bruises, scrapes, strains and sprains during at least a few of their long distance runs. If you take the time to consider the most common marathon running injuries and then take preventative measures you can reduce the risk of these injuries happening during your next important run.

Other common marathon related injuries pertain to overuse and include tendinitis and joint pain. Initial treatment options include NSID’s like Naproxen to decrease inflammation and pain.

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