What to do if you pick up an injury while running a race

A lot of effort goes into getting ready for race day. It can be really disappointing if you find yourself at the aid tent and not at the finish line. Here are the most common race day injuries and how to avoid them.

Heat stress / heat stroke – No matter how well you’ve trained, it’s almost impossible to prepare the body for high temperatures. Stay hydrated, use sports drinks wisely and stick to the shaded sections where you can. If you’re feeling a bit light headed a sports drink might be all you need to rebalance. If you feel faint, disoriented or your heart is racing, head to the first aid tent. Overheating can kill, don’t push through it.

Hyponatremia – A diligent runner who tries to avoid heatstroke might give themselves hyponatremia instead. Drinking too much water reduces the vital sodium levels in your body, causing nausea, vomiting, confusion and swelling. Check out the colour of your urine during a pit stop. Pale yellow is the colour to aim for. Darker tends to mean dehydration, and clear means you’re at risk of hyponatremia. Drink to thirst, not to a schedule.

Fainting after the race – Running elevates the heart rate. The body uses the hard working calf muscles contracting to push blood back up to the heart during races. If you get to the finish line and stop cold, the calves aren’t returning blood to the heart as fast as it needs it and you can faint. To avoid this, cross the finish line and keep moving. Walk around slowly (you only need to do this for 5 minutes or so for your body to equalise).

Cramping – It could be a lack of essential salts and minerals or a case of under stretching – either one could cause painful muscle cramps. Long distance runners are most likely to suffer these. Make sure you warm up very well before the race. Practice your intended race speed in training before the big day. Make sure you get enough sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium to keep your body working through the race. If you get a cramp, stop and stretch it out before continuing.

Blisters – These painful raw patches on the feet can be avoided easily with some preparation. Wear moisture wicking socks and make sure your shoes have room to accommodate the natural foot swelling over long distances. Wear shoes you know support you, don’t try a new pair on for the race. Use tape to protect raw spots to get you to the finish line.

 

About Enertor Advanced Technology Insoles –  Enertor insoles are designed to prevent a number of common running injuries and provide more comfort. Designed by leading podiatrists to reduce your risk of injury,  the unique design features support your foot throughout training.  Enertor insoles are enhanced by D3O impact protection technology, which means they can provide more shock absorption than any other insole.  Our expertise, combined with the patented D3O shock absorption technology, enables Enertor to deliver the most advanced injury prevention insoles on the market today.

Enertor insoles are available online HERE .

Whilst Enertor has over 18 years Orthotics experience, our blog content is provided for informational purposes only and it is not a substitute for your own doctor’s medical advice. Enertor advises anyone with an injury to seek their own medical advice – and do not make any health or medical related decisions based solely on information found on this site

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