Saturday, 9 November 2013

Potential Injuries When Training For A Half Marathon

I am not a medical expert so clearly I can not offer medical advice. What I can do is make some fairly basic recommendations that will both help prevent injuries and what to do if you get minor injuries. Let me first deal with the more serious injuries that may happen during half marathon training.

Serious Injuries When Marathon Training

So when you start your training and you get some type of injury that causes sharp or severe pain, or one that persists for more than 48 hours, then please get a medical opinion right away. Unless you are medically qualified then please get professional medical advice and get the best treatment that will allow you to fully recover.

Trying to continue training or running when you have an injury will almost inevitably make your injury a great deal worse. It will also ruin any chance you may have of being able to run on the big day. That in itself is bad enough but more worrying you could end up doing yourself some serious damage. If you have an injury see your doctor right away.

Minor Injuries When Marathon Training

There are two common injuries associated with long distance running and these are:

  1. Blisters
  2. Chaffing

Both of these are caused by friction where some type of rubbing takes place. This friction generates heat and irritates the skin and can then lead to getting blisters or chaffing. Blisters typically happen in the feet and chaffing happens in areas of sensitive skin such as the inner thighs, the nipples and the general area of a sport's bra.

I would think that at some stage in our lives we have all experienced blisters and we know just how annoying that can be. Chaffing may be something new to you. That generally happens in folds of skin and is common with people who are over weight. So if you are carrying an extra few pounds, or have not trained for a while, then just be aware that this could happen.

Preventing Minor Injuries When Training

There are some products such as Vaseline and Body Glide that will really help. They act as lubricants and are also waterproof and as such provide a barrier to high friction areas. There are also nipple plasters available which are great to prevent chaffing but Vaseline works well also.
Body Glide For Chaffing

This anti-chafe balm is very good and is what I use myself on the heels mainly. It is applied directly from the stick to avoid it getting on your hands. It prevents water, perspiration or any moisture and yet does not block the pores.
As I said I use this mainly on the feet but it can be used anywhere on the body. Many ladies use this around the bra area as that is always subject to chaffing and irritation.

Ever Had Runner's Nipple?

If you have done long distance running before or played sports where you require endurance then most likely you know all about runner's nipple. It happens to both men and women and can be extremely irritating and down right annoying. Again I have found this Glide product to work well. Some people I know also use nipple plasters as they get really tortured by this problem. Some ladies also use surgical tape to prevent this irritation.

Dealing With Chaffing

The best way to deal with this is  by using some form of balm. Should you get it though the absolute best treatment is diaper (nappy) cream that is used on babies. This is highly effective and can clear chaffing up in as little as one day. I know several people who have done this and all of them report great results.

How To Treat Blisters

The best way to treat blisters is to let the body heal them itself. An alternative used by some people is to pop the blister, then treat it by dressing it to prevent any infections. In the ideal world the body will heal itself but when you are training, then you may have to pop it and treat it.

To do this properly you will need some cotton wool, an antiseptic lotion, a pin, some surgical spirit and some blister plasters. Please use actual blister plasters when doing this as they are made especially to treat blisters. They form a very tight seal around the blister to prevent any chance of infection.
Blister Plasters

Over a few days they will naturally come away as the blister starts to heal. The important thing when dealing with blisters is to make sure everything you use is very clean. Sterilise the pin with surgical spirits and pop the blister at one side. Use the cotton wool to soak up any fluid and then clean with the antiseptic lotion to clean the area. Once it has dried then pop on a blister plaster, making sure it is properly sealed.

Dealing With Minor Illnesses

A typical training period for a half marathon is around 12 weeks. In that 3 month period it is possible that you may get some sort of illness. It could be something as simple as a head cold or worse still some type of flu. When that happens people are uncertain as to what to do.

Our advice is take a little time out to recover. Trying to continue on with a training program when you feel lousy will do you more harm than good. Colds and flu weaken the body and by making it work harder, it will only make you more tired and worn down.

It is better to take a couple of days out and let your body recover its vitality.

So those are the best ways to deal with potential injuries when training for a half marathon.