Health Matters: Gearing Up for the Marathon

It's not just about lacing up your shoes when it comes to preparing for a marathon

HEALTH MATTERS– Whether you run the marathon every year, or it’s your first time, there are things you can do to prepare your body for the event.

Participating in a marathon is not something you can do overnight.

It takes training and a lot of preparation.

Part of that prep work goes all the way up to the moment you take off at the sound of “GO”.

“Some people are casual runners and they run throughout the year,” said Jake Januszewski, a physical therapist with Essentia health. “Some people don’t run at all and they say this is my goal.”

Thousands in the metro take on the challenge of running more than 26 miles for the annual Fargo Marathon.

“For most people, just getting to the starting line healthy of a marathon is a huge task,” explained Januszewski, who was a runner for NDSU.

Getting a full night’s rest is one thing but, to prevent injury, you have to do more.

First, it’s important to warm up.

“If your body is not ready to start moving for what you want it to be able to do, you’re probably not going to get the results that you want,” said Januszewski.

He said it’s best to keep your blood flowing all the way up until you start.

“You want to make sure that for your warm up, that you are at least getting some type of sweat going before you get to the line,” Januszewski said.

One big thing to remember: once you’ve crossed that finish line…keep going.

Don’t stop…gradually slow down.

“It’s really important to keep moving. Go for a walk, do a little bit of a jog, stay really hydrated,” said Januszewski. “Especially after the race, it’s really important to have some warm clothes to put on.”

He said it’s also important to take care of yourself when you’re done because the aftermath of the event is just as crucial to your well-being.

“Stretching is much more beneficial after the event than before,” explained Januszewski. “I’m not saying that you don’t want to stretch at all before hand, but the bulk of your stretching should be done after the fact.”

No matter how well you do, the best thing to remember is give your body time to recover.

That includes a balanced diet as well as staying hydrated.