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Last-Minute Marathon Advice

Running the NYC Marathon on Sunday, November 3rd? Some tips to remember:
1) Race week is not for training! If you have prepared properly, this week a few very short, 2-4 mile runs are all you need. All of the training you have done in the last few months is “in the books” and will serve you well on Sunday. If you have missed some workouts, it is too late to make them up; rest your legs! runner_stretching

2) Tapering “pains”—If you are unsure if an ache or pain is an injury in the making, pre-race nerves or “tapering stiffness,” and wondering if you should see a doctor? The answer is probably “Yes” if any of the following conditions exist:

A) The area has “soreness to the touch” that is more intense than your usual post-workout level and lasts days after the last run. B) The area is swollen. C) The area is painful and/or restricted with normal movements. or D) You are unable to bear normal weight on the injured side.

If any of these symptoms are present, you may have an injury brewing and at least need some reassurance that you can still race with last-minute treatment and advice. If you are just a little sore and none of the above is occurring, just keep up your normal stretching/foam-rolling routine if you have one, which will keep key muscles loose and ready, even on days you are not running. And if you currently have a “maintenance routine” of massage and/or chiropractic soft-tissue and joint care, keep it up as you usually do. Earlier in the week of course is better in either case—last-minute appointments can be hard to find marathon week in NYC!

2) Visualize your race weekend ahead of time, and the race itself. Plan early what you will wear for different weather conditions, your pre race meals, what time you will get up race day, and what gels, etc. you will use. Then, picture yourself running according to your plan for each part of the course, not anyone else’s! General pace tip: In NYC, with the super enthusiastic crowds, it is easy to “go out” too fast, and the 2nd half of the course has the bridges and more challenging uphill sections. So while you don’t want to go to slow in the first half, remember to pick a pace that will leave you with energy for the final 10K.

marathon group3) All endurance races have “rough patches” we must get through. When you face some challenging miles, for a confidence boost, remember back to your tough training runs and how you overcame and finished them. Thinking of your personal motivation for running the race in order to remind you why you are out there and how you are lucky to be where you are right now also can help. Also, it may be cliché, but “take it one step at a time” and focus only on the few blocks ahead of you (easy in the NYC marathon with our numbered streets along most of the course) instead of the total distance to go. In most cases, before you know it, you will be feeling better and be able to let your mind wander a little bit if you want to.

If you really do not feel well, there is plenty official medical help on the course at the aid stations to help you—don’t be afraid to stop and let the staff help you out—that’s what they’re there for.

4) Finally, calm your body and mind: relax your leg muscles later in the race by focusing on “running from your core” by rotating from your hips and pelvis, and relax your mind by taking one mile at a time and enjoying the best day of the year in NYC!

This article is for informational purposes only. If you have, or suspect you have a health-care problem, then you should immediately contact a qualified health-care professional for treatment.

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NEW SPINAL DECOMPRESSION TABLE: We now offer the Triton Decompression technique for the cervical and lumbar spine. EVENT COVERAGE! Dr. Bochner is part of the volunteer team treating athletes at the following events: PAWLING TRIATHLON AVP NEW YORK OPEN Pro Volleyball Tournament; STEVE NASH CHARITY SHIELD AND SHOWDOWN SOCCER; NEW YORK CITY TRIATHLON; STATEN ISLAND TRIATHLON; TOUGHMAN HALF IRON AND TOUGHKIDS RACES


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