Category Archives: Health

Heart Damage from Marathons?

If you are Canadian and a runner chances are you probably heard about this study that received media attention yesterday. The study used MRI data to find out what happens to the heart during a marathon.

The findings of the study suggest that less fit marathoners can damage their hearts during the marathon. This only seems logical to me as it takes months of training to properly train for a marathon. Jumping into a marathon without the proper training is a recipe for disaster.

Fortunately for runners who may have suffered heart damage from a marathon it is reversible over time.

Do Marathons Wreck Your Knees?

The following article caught my eye, Do marathons wreck your knees?

As with many claims about whether running causes damage to your body, it seems like the research so far is inconclusive but it is an interesting debate to follow. I can’t say that I have had any serious problems with my knees so far but then I have only completed three marathons. Maybe that will change in a few years after I have completed more marathons.

What do you think?

Marathon Recovery

Since I just ran a marathon yesterday I found this article to be quite relevant, a 6 step plan to a speedy marathon recovery.

I managed to follow step one with a 10 minute walk back to our hotel from the finish line. We also took a wander through downtown Picton after we had lunch. I probably would have benefitted from a couple more 10-15 minute walks but given that we had a 3 hour drive home it was not possible.

Right after finishing the race I made sure to grab chocolate milk that was available at the finish line. I also had a couple servings of e mend that I had mixed the night before and a PowerBar protein bar.

The first thing I did when I got back to our hotel was take a cold bath. I know it does not sound like a pleasant idea but I have started using this technique after long training runs and marathons and it does seem to help.

One thing I did not take advantage of last night when I got home was using my foam roller before my quads started to ache. Not sure if would have helped with my recovery but I will give it a try next time.

I did make sure to stay hydrated after the race yesterday by carrying a water bottle around with me all day.

I am not planning to do much in the way of physical activity this week but I will keep up with the series of yoga stretches I have been doing for running for about a year now.

All in all I think I am feeling pretty good today. My legs are a little stiff and sore when I get up to walk around or when I go down stairs but I am certainly not as sore as I was after my previous two marathons.

Stretching

I know there is some debate over the benefits of stretching for running. I thought I would write about how I have incorporated stretching into my training routine.

As mentioned in my previous post, I injured my knee while training for my first half-marathon. While the injury was partially due to using worn-out shoes, a trip to a sports medicine doctor and a physiotherapist identified suggested that the injury was also due to tight leg muscles. In addition to the exercises they recommended for me, I also purchased a foam roller which although painful and uncomfortable to use at first was useful in stretching my leg muscles.

My current post-run stretching routine involves going through the ”10 best yoga poses for runners”. I found these exercises online earlier this year and have been using them for several months now. The exercises have certainly improved the flexibility in my legs which I figure can’t be a bad thing for my running.

The final series of exercises I use for stretching involves this series of pilates moves for runners which my wife found for me in an article on the Runners World website. I try to go through this series of moves when I have a chance on my rest days.