Article by: Dr Nilesh Gautam, Senior Interventional Cardiologist and Head of the Department of Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation, Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai.
- A good night sleep is mandatory. The excitement is palpable, but adequate rest in the night before the race will give the body the needed energy.
- A carbohydrate-rich dinner the night before the run. Carbohydrates give the body the much-needed fuel to run for a longer time. Aloo paratha with yogurt (potatoes is rich in carbohydrates), beans salad (legumes), fruits, nuts – all these are ideal.
- Don’t run on an empty stomach. Have a light breakfast about an hour before the run. Though it seems like it’s too early in the morning to have your breakfast, do it anyway. The breakfast can include cereals with dry fruits or fruits that you are allowed to eat.
- Take your medicines at least an hour before the actual run. This is crucial. Also, people who have diabetes may skip the morning dose of oral tablet for sugar control to avoid hypoglycemia.
- Arrive at the start point at least an hour before the start time to avoid last minute anxiety and chaos.
- Be your own runner. The reason of being part of this prestigious event has to be the joy of running. If competing rules your mind, rethink. If you run too quickly in the beginning, you are bound to feel exhausted after sometime. Choose your own pace and stick to it. Enjoy the run.
- Consume water or any other oral rehydration fluid supplied at each water station along the way.
- Write down your emergency contact number at the back of your running bib.
- If you develop muscle cramps, stop for a while, rehydrate with some electoral fluid, stretch out the involved muscle, apply some pain relief spray and/ or ice pad. If feeling comfortable then resume run at a slower speed. If pain gets aggravated, then stop running and call for help.
- Watch for warning signs during running. If you experience chest tightness or chest pain, disproportionate breathlessness or breathlessness even after stopping for few minutes, giddiness, lightheadedness, palpitation even after stopping for few minutes, vomiting etc then stop running and call for help. There may be some serious cardiac issue.
Who are not allowed to run?
If you are talking about heart patients, then the following should not be allowed to run:
- Those with active cardiac disease
- Those with symptoms of chest pain or breathlessness or fatigue on exertion
- Those recovering from a heart attack or open heart surgery — within 3 to 6 months
- Those with obstructive valvular or muscular conditions of the heart
- Those known to have abnormal heart rhythms brought on or worsened by exertion
- All cardiac patients should be necessarily certified fit to run by a cardiologist.