By MH Staff - Posted on 18th March 2014
Run these checks before you rock up at the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon
If you have had a temperature, an aching body, chest symptoms or other signs of flu three weeks prior to the race, you should not be running, says Dr Boulter, medical director of the Comrades Marathon.
Don’t take any medication before or during the race, insists Boulter. Anti-inflammatories side effects include irritating the lining of the stomach, causing ulcers and reducing blood flow to the kidneys. The same goes for anti-cramp medication and paracetamol. “Any runner who needs painkillers before the race shouldn’t be running – they’re not fit enough.”
“Anything below the neck is regarded as potentially very dangerous because it means you’ve got some sort of viral infection,” says Dr Ross Tucker of the Sports Science Institute of South Africa. Look out for aching muscles, shortness of breath during exercise, a tight chest and a fever.
These are symptoms concentrated around the face, like sinusitis or a blocked nose, says Tucker. “It’s safe to exercise but as long as you’re aware of your body you can quickly pick up the signals.”
Don’t drink fluids during training that won’t be available at the event, says Boulter. “You may well not be able to tolerate these fluids if you’re not used to them. The same applies for food.”
Be aware of the symptoms of cardiac events, Tucker advises. Look for tightness in the chest, chest pain and dizziness. “If you’ve got family history, have cardiac screening, and consider genetic testing to identify whether you’ve got one of the recognised genes variants that predisposes you.”