A Guide to Marathon Running and Injuries

A Guide to Marathon Running and Injuries

A long-distance run is at least 26.2 miles and is classified as a road race as opposed to a track or cross-country run. Over the course of a year, there are more than 500 road races throughout the world. There are several injuries that commonly occur during a long-distance race.


Blisters are the most common injury during a run. Almost all runners will no doubt get blisters on their feet. Some runners have learned through trial and error how to lessen the risk of blisters. You need to experiment with different shoes, socks, lubricants and drying pads until you find the combination that works best for you. If you have blisters, the course of action you need to take is to sterilise the blister, drain it and put a plaster over it.


Dehydration is another common problem that can occur during a road race. You will need to know ahead of time, through training, how much fluid your body needs. A good way to judge this is to weigh yourself before and after a long run. Your weight should stay the same. Signs of dehydration include a dry mouth, feeling tired, dizziness, a headache and decreased urination. If you have these symptoms, it is a sign that your body is telling you to slow down and drink water or a sports drink.


Hyponatremia (not enough salt (sodium) in the fluids of the body) is a condition not many people have heard about, except maybe runners. This condition occurs when you drink too much and your body does not have enough time to get rid of it. This condition can be serious and the symptoms include headaches, nausea, bloating, confusion and cramping. If you find yourself experiencing these symptoms during a race, you need to stop immediately and not go any further in the race.


If you discover one or more of your toenails are black after the race, it is typically caused from a blister, or blood that has seeped under the toenail. It occurs when the foot slides to the front of your shoe repeatedly. It is likely you will lose the toenail, but it will grow back within a few months.

Muscle cramps

Muscle cramps can hit you like a ton of bricks during a road race too. Should this happen, you will need to stop and massage the cramp lightly until it goes away. You will also need to drink sports drinks to replace any salt loss.


Nausea can happen during a race and it is very common for runners to experience this. To prevent this from happening, watch what you eat and drink in the two days before the race. Steer clear of spicy foods, caffeine and alcohol. Also, it is advised not to overeat. During a race, stick to energy snacks and sports drinks.

These are just a few of the most common marathon running complaints and injuries. For more information, consult a reputable Osteopath or Physiotherapist.


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