By Jennifer Williams
Dr. Derek Papp, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital in Baltimore, offers the following tips in preparation for race day. Dr. Papp is a parishioner of Holy Cross Church in Federal Hill and a former cross-country runner at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill.
In addition to following these tips, Dr. Papp advises runners to begin training early and adequately enough for the type of mileage they are undertaking. “You don’t want to step into a marathon and say, ‘Hey, let’s see how this goes,’” he said.
Race preparation tips:
1. Make sure you eat enough the night before. Whether it is spaghetti or other carbohydrates, loading up on nutrients before the race is a great idea, Dr. Papp said, because during longer distances, individuals will deplete their glycogen storages.
2. Drink enough water. “Start hydrating, and that includes one or two days before the race to help keep you from cramping up during the course of the race,” he said.
3. Warm up a little beforehand and stretch. He said it’s important to make sure all the major muscle groups are stretched, especially as you get older.
4. Do a proper cooldown, which is a short jog that requires little to no real effort, Dr. Papp said.