How To Protect Feet From Blisters During A Marathon

If you’ve trained for a marathon, you’re going to want to make sure your hard work pays off. You’ll need to make sure your feet are protected from blisters when you run.

If you want to avoid blisters, try sticking to these tips. These suggestions will help you to keep your feet blister-free.

Choose Your Socks Carefully

You shouldn’t wear just any socks when you are running a marathon. You should select socks that were specifically designed with athletes in mind. The right socks will provide your feet with some cushion and protection. Avoid cotton socks; they tend to soak up a lot of sweat. Instead, look for socks with moisture-wicking capabilities.

Don’t Run In New Shoes

You need to break your running shoes in before the marathon. You should never run a marathon in brand-new or poorly-fitting shoes. If you run in shoes that don’t fit your feet well, you can definitely expect to see some blisters later on.

Think About Taping Your Feet

It’s common for professional runners to tape or place bandages on their feet before they run. If your feet are already protected, you’ll be able to keep on running if you do get a blister.

Try To Prevent Friction

Friction is one of the major causes of blisters. If you powder your feet or apply the right kind of cream, you’ll be able to reduce the amount of friction that occurs is you run. There are creams that are specifically designed for an athlete; look into using products like that.

If you’re running long distances, blisters are something you will want to watch out for. Blisters can be extremely painful. A blister could even keep you from finishing a race. There are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk of developing blisters. Try to take every precaution that you can.

The Interesting Origins Of The Modern Marathon.

The modern marathon is one of the most grueling sporting events in the Olympics. However, contrary to what many people believe this foot race is not a modern invention. In fact it has its origins in antiquity.

Runners often risk injury as a marathon is run over a distance of just over 26 miles. usually on roads.

The modern marathon celebrates the accomplishment of a Greek soldier named Pheidippides who ran non stop to Athens to inform the city elders of the victory of their armies at Marathon (hence the name). That victory over the Persians would ensure that the Greek Empire would last for another generation. Legend has it that he delivered his message and then immediately dropped dead from exhaustion.

Irrespective of the origins the first of the modern day marathons was run in 1896. But the distances did vary until an official distance was agree by sporting authorities in 1921.

Today marathons are not only hosted at the Olympic Games, there are nearly a thousand officially sanctioned marathons held all over the world every year. these marathons attract world class athletes from across the globe – and the prize money can run into millions of dollars.

1896 Was of course the beginning of the modern Olympics. The idea to include the marathon was one that was well thought out. Aside from more modern disciplines the organizers wanted something that would cement the games in the ancient tradition of fair play and human achievement at the highest level.

The marathon does all of that. It puts endurance and spirit of the individual at the pinnacle of what separates elite athletes from those who want to merely explore fitness. The history of the warrior Greek who literally sacrificed all for his state is echoed in the superb athletes who today take part in the marathon. A spectacle watched by people all over the world – and who salute those who take part for their dedication and bravery.

For more information on ancient Greece, please watch the following video:

The Importance of Proper Breathing When Running

Have you ever gone for a run and find yourself quickly running out of breath? Usually this means that your pace is too fast, however it can also be due to insufficient breathing. When running, especially in a marathon deep breathing is crucial, you should use diaphragmatic breathing (or deep belly breathing) as opposed to shallow chest breathing as it provides the most efficient and maximal oxygen uptake and avoid injuries from an accident.

Keep in mind that the air you breathe in only remains in your lungs for a short period of time, therefore it prevents a complete exchange of air. In turn this causes the amount of oxygen that is taken in to be reduced. As a matter of fact, poor breathing techniques are often the reason why people experience that dreaded side stitch as they run.

That being said, deep belly breathing is a much more efficient way of breathing when you run, this is because it uses the lung´s entire capacity. The air that is breathed in also travels down to the lower area of the lungs and remains there longer thus increasing your oxygen uptake. It is important to note that exhaling consciously and deeply will automatically lead to inhaling deeply, which also helps to improve your oxygen uptake.

Here is a simple way to practice deep belly breathing:
Lie down on a flat surface, it can be your bed, sofa or even the floor and place a light book or your hands over your stomach.
Deeply and consciously breathe in and out. You should clearly be able to observe the boo or your hands rising as you breathe in and falling as you then breathe out.
Your focus should be on trying to exhale all of the air out of your lungs. It is quite simple and a bit of practice will help you to easily begin belly breathing automatically and naturally as you run.

Keep in mind that controlling your breathe as you run is extremely important and that is why it is recommended that you keep a rhythm. For a low intensity, easy run keep a 3:3 breathing rhythm, meaning three steps while you breathe in and three steps as you breathe out. For a run of a medium intensity, a 2:2 breathing rhythm is recommended, and for high-intensity and maximum runs, such as the final burst at the end of a marathon, a 1:1 breathing rhythm is best.

Keep in mind that these rules will not apply to every runner, they are merely meant as a rule of thumb. The best thing you can do is try various breathing rhythms until you find the one the works best and helps you feel the most comfortable. Regardless of your running intensity and breathing rate, the important thing to focus on is deep and conscious belly breathing, this will allow you to increase the length of time that you are able to breathe in and breathe out.

In conclusion, remember that running and controlling your breath go hand in hand. Focus on deep belly breathing and avoid shallow chest breathing. Try out various breathing rhythms until you find the one that works best, and remember that over time and with practice, you will develop the best breathing rhythm for you.

Buying The Right Running Shoes For You

Running as a sport is something that requires no marketing and needs no hype. People have been running since before they walked on two legs, and they’ll be running as long as they have the capability. It’s a test of endurance and a form of exercise all in one!

However, if you’re going to run then you need a good pair of running shoes. This is where it gets tricky, because “good running shoes” can mean a lot of different things depending on your precise need. Even just choosing the size of the running shoe can be difficult!

So if you want to start running and you’re not sure what shoes you need, here are some tips.

1) Buy The Right Size

Many people wear the wrong sized shoe for their feet, and they don’t even know it. They just presume most people’s feet hurt after a long day. But that is not the case!

In terms of running, you should get a shoe that fits comfortably. Because there are many running shoes with extra padded support around the ankle, you might consider getting a half-size larger than what you normally wear comfortably. That way, your foot isn’t squeezed half to death by the time you’re done with your run.

2) Minimal Or Extra Support?

The current trend in running shoes is to have minimal shoes. That is, they have thin soles and very little padding throughout the inside. There are certainly benefits to a minimal shoe. They can help straighten your feet and pace yourself and the gait you use.

However, if you’re a first-time runner then you’ll likely want stability shoes. These help keep your ankle supported, which is something you need if you’re starting out. While human beings have been running since the dawn of time, the modern human body has a number of weird bits and pieces that don’t always work the way you want them to. The extra stability helps ensure you don’t break anything.

3) Plan For Your Gait

Due to no two human bodies being precisely the same, no two people have the exact same gait. There are many people who claim that there’s a “one true way” to run, but the simple truth is that your body will run in the way it’s built to run. You can adjust that with training, but you can never change it entirely.

So when you’re buying running shoes, make sure to run when you try them on. Naturally, you can’t do a few laps around a shoe store, but taking a moment to check your foot placement is vital. Once you find that information, you’ll want to buy a shoe that offers proper padding in the location where your feet first hit the ground. That way, the shoe can absorb more of the shock so your knees and ankles don’t have to.

Buying your first pair of running shoes can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. You can find the perfect running shoes for you, and you’ll be amazed at how comfortable they feel!

Most Popular Marathons In The US

While many people see the United States as a country full of fried chicken-eating freedom lovers, there is in fact a huge runners culture in many parts of the country.  Traditionally, the best runners come from relatively urban areas, as there is ample opportunity to train and compete with as many people as possible.  The abundance of gyms and fitness groups in urban areas amplifies this trend, as people have way more access to tools that enhance their skills.  While every city in the US has a marathon associated with it, here are some of the biggest marathons that attract the best competition in the US.

New York City

Ah, the New York City Marathon.  Utter those three words and you are guaranteed to make any New Yorker angry.  NYC is a city that is known for its passionate people and intense traffic.  As it turns out when you shut down half of the city so some people can run around, traffic gets worse and the people get more, let’s say “expressive”, about how they feel.  The New York City Marathon is a staple of any marathon runner’s career because of the huge prize pool and the grandeur of the event.  Being able to run around the city, unencumbered by the threat of getting hit by a car, is a dream come true for many people, though it is a nightmare for many commuters.

Boston

The Boston Marathon has always been the second most popular marathon in the United States, as the relatively small size of Boston lends itself well to hosting a marathon.  The terrorist attacks a few years back were a truly emboldening moment for the city of Boston: they rose above the hate and continued to host the marathon.  This has made the last few years of the Boston Marathon an absolutely surreal event, seeing people who were so horribly affected by the event continue to do what they love.  While it was born out of horrible circumstances, the Boston Marathon has truly turned into a patriotic event.  It is a reminder that no matter what happens, the United States will always rise above terrorism.

What To Eat On The Big Day

What is carbo loading? What is glucose and how does it affect your performance? Are you drinking enough liquids? These are some questions that you might be asking yourself if you are running a marathon. For more information, we recommend watching this quick 2-minute video. We’d love to know what carbo loaded foods you like to eat as well – don’t forget to give us feedback! Our favorites include pasta!

What’s your favorite electrolyte drink? Our personal favorite is vitamin water. We find that Gatorade is too sugary. But in the middle of the race, at that point, we are happy to just drink anything!

Also don’t eat too much the morning of, perhaps something light like a protein bar, banana or a piece of toast. What do you eat? Whatever you do, DO NOT drink coffee! It will dehydrate you!

5 Foods To Avoid Before A Race

Many people are aware of the necessity of storing carbohydrates in their body before a long run or a marathon. The carbohydrates are broken down and converted into glycogen, a polysaccharide that is stored in the body’s muscles and ready to use as an efficient source of energy so the body does not need to resort to burning fat, a less efficient fuel source. However, despite being aware of carbohydrate intake before the beginning of a big race, runners also need to be aware of various foods that they shouldn’t be eating beforehand: foods that may be detrimental to their performance and their health in general.

  • Lactose

Despite a few dairy products being a good source of carbohydrates, runners should be aware of the amount of lactose they are consuming at the same time. Many people have trouble processing lactose in their bodies as they age. And whether or not you are even running in a big race, the inability to process lactose can lead to uncomfortable, sometimes even painful, stomach irritation and nausea.

  • High-fiber foods

While they are obviously incorporated into many healthy diets, there are lots of fruits and vegetables that are naturally high in fiber and can be detrimental to a runner’s performance during a race. Avoiding foods such as broccoli, legumes and multigrain breads will help runners avoid stomach irritation similar to consuming lactose, as well as spare them the discomfort of gas building in their gastrointestinal tract.

  • Fatty foods

Unlike carbohydrates, grams of fat take a longer time and significantly more energy to break down. Therefore, even during the middle of a race, foods that are high in fat content tend to linger in your stomach and feel like they are literally weighing you down, especially those foods high in saturated fats. It is recommended to wait until after a race is completed to start working on that burger.

  • Spicy foods

They may be beneficial to your metabolism. They may be less difficult or unruly to process as lactose, and they may not necessarily sit as a deadweight in your stomach like foods high in fat content, but too much spicy food can still affect your ability to perform. Eat enough spicy food before a race, and you may find yourself competing with a bout of heartburn or indigestion instead of that stretch of pavement.

  • White or refined sugars

They tend to be viewed as empty calories anyway. Beyond that, consuming foods rich in white or refined sugars leads runners to run the risk (no pun intended) or hypoglycemia. Ingesting such food causes blood sugar levels to spike quickly and decrease at a rapid pace. This condition can lead to headaches and fatigue that would greatly hamper the performance of any distance runner. It is best to avoid high GI (glycemic index) foods in exchange for lower GI foods such as foods with natural sugars like some fruits (so long as they don’t also fill you up on fiber at the same time). 

You should keep all of this in mind if you want to run your practice more efficiently.

5 Foods To Eat Before A Race

There are at least a couple modern day diets that swear off carbohydrates as a bane to your health, but this in fact could not be further from the case. While it is true that unused carbohydrates are stored in the body as fat, the main purpose of this nutrient is to be converted into energy-producing compounds that are generally burned for immediate or near-immediate use. This is why athletes and runners have a tendency to load up on meals such as pasta, rice and potatoes before taking to the field or starting that marathon; these foods are packed with carbohydrates that can be used as fuel for the muscles so they have the energy to perform.

With that said, however, there are several foods that are likely better options for runners to resort to when looking for their source of carbohydrates, especially when it comes to maintaining endurance in long-distance races or marathons. The body tends to break down and store carbohydrates as glycogen in your muscles for use when you are ready to begin that race.

However, despite wanting to eat foods that are rich in carbohydrates, Dr. Brian Rapaport warns against eating foods that are also high in fiber (mostly to avoid stomach issues during the middle of the race). He encourages runners to start “carbo-loading” a couple of days in advance and recommends a variety of foods to use for this process.

  • Fruits (Bananas, orange juice)

As long as you avoid fruits that are also naturally high in fiber, these sources should supply plenty of glycogen to your muscles. Dr. Rapaport recommends consuming approximately 150 grams of carbohydrates on the morning of race day, and these sources alone supply approximately 50 grams by themselves.

  • Grains (Bagels, granola bars, sourdough rolls)

Avoiding processed or refined grains with more complex compounds or sugars for the body to break down, this selection of grains tends to pack a great deal of carbohydrates by themselves. A whole bagel alone provides roughly 70 grams of carbs to your body, nearly half of Dr. Rapaport’s recommended breakfast supply. Granola bars for snacks and sourdough rolls for lunch or dinner also provide a surprising amount of carbohydrates by themselves, nearly 30 and 40 grams respectively.

  • Starches (baked potato, burrito with rice)

Dr. Rapaport’s specific plan recommended a chicken burrito that contained rice, corn salsa and black beans, supplementing a dinner with a decent supply of grains and legumes to the meal. The burrito itself offers over 100 grams of carbs! And a baked potato is no slouch either. Add a quarter cup of salsa to it, and you’re peaking at almost 70 grams of carbohydrates with that alone.

  • Dairy (yogurt, chocolate milk)

Adding to the immediate pre-race breakfast regiment, yogurt and chocolate milk provide a good amount of carbohydrates as well. 8 ounces of fruit-flavored yogurt can supply your body with over 40 grams of carbohydrates, and chocolate milk – while on the lower end of the spectrum – still grants about 26 grams in just a single cup.

  • Sweets and candy

Surprisingly enough, Dr. Rapaport even includes a bit for those with a sweet tooth. An oatmeal cookie at lunch time can supply over 50 grams of carbohydrates if it’s big enough. His specific plan also includes “Swedish Fish” which can provide up to a staggering 148 grams of carbohydrates per 12-piece serving, though Dr. Rapaport recommends a 1-2 ounce bag to suffice.

“Carb-loading” a couple days in advance and incorporating some of these foods into your breakfast the morning of the race, according to his research, will provide your body with ample stored glycogen for your muscles to burn before they need to resort to burning less efficient stores of fat for your marathon. This will give you the best chance to avoid “hitting the wall” and finishing that race.