There are enormous health benefits to participating in and training for a long distance running event. However, it is also a huge physical challenge, which requires a sensible and safe approach. It is essential that you are properly prepared and that you follow a carefully structured training programme (see training page for advice).
We advise that you do not participate on any race day unless you have achieved the recommended mileage in your training runs and urge you to take the time to understand issues surrounding hydration, fuel and any medications you might be taking.
The basics question is are you fit enough to take part? If you have any medical conditions such as cardiac problems, asthma or diabetes it is essential that you check with your General Practitioner (GP) whether there is any medical reason why you should not run or train or run in any distance event. It is also advised that you complete a full health assessment (particularly in relation to your heart function), which your GP can also provide advise on. They know the benefits of training but also the effects on your body. They may advise against you running the distance and if they do, you must take their advice. You should also be very careful to avoid medication whilst training and racing. You should also consult your GP if you take any medications as medication can make you more susceptible to heat stroke or collapse. Stimulants of any kind should not be used. Again, for any questions, please consult your GP.
By now you will already be aware that you need to have adequate amounts of fuel on board to enable you to run regularly. It is essential that you pay attention to the quantity and type of fuel you use before, during and after training and especially on the day of the race. There are many good sources of information on diet, nutrition and food balance, however everyone is different and it is essential that you rehearse this during your training programme. Do not try new food or fluid the night before the event or during the event. Please also avoid caffeine and alcohol the night before the race due to their dehydrating effects.
If you feel yourself getting confused or too hot, or very weak, this may be a sign of heat stroke and you must stop immediately and get help from one of the medical team. Heat stroke is a very serious condition, common in runners doing marathons. Those that suffer severe consequences are those that don’t listen to their body saying stop. It is much safer to stop than push yourself and collapse before the finish line. If you do need any of the medical services on the day we have a highly experienced medical team in place. Order of Malta Ambulance services will be available on the day.
After you finish, please be aware that you have just put your body through a considerable amount of exertion. It is especially important for you to be extra careful during these next few hours following the race series. If any of your symptoms get worse or do not go away completely then you should see your General Practitioner – be sure to tell them you have recently taken part in a run. Symptoms to look out for included feeling light-headed, dizzy, nauseous, vomiting, confused, short of breath, develop muscle aches or cramps which will not go away, then you should stop running and seek medical advice during the course. If you feel unwell after the race, you should also not drink alcohol.
In summary, please take care and listen to your body. Make sure you train properly, following a good training plan well ahead of race day. Consult your GP if you have any medical problems or are taking medications. If you are feeling unwell before any races, DO NOT run If you become unwell during the race, stop and seek medical advice at the nearest first aid station. Avoid taking any medication on race day. Drink sensibly during the race and do not take too much or too little fluids. Consult the manufacturers advice on consuming energy drinks or gels. If you feel unwell after the race, seek advice.
Who can I contact for further help or advice?
Phone: Paul on 086-3503994