|Q&A: Our Marathon physiologist|
|Around the Academy:
In the final week of our London Marathon forum, Charlie Pedlar, a physiologist for the English Institute of Sport, answers your questions. Good luck in the race!
Adam, 20, Stoke
I know I will have to walk most of it on the day but I don't want to let my sponsors down.
In reality you are preparing for a long road walk, so I would recommend wearing some very comfortable shoes to avoid blisters (maybe even take some plasters and a spare pair of socks).
I would also recommend taking some food in the form of energy bars, because the walk is going to take a very long time. Good luck.
Ann, 26, London
The fact that swimming is a less damaging form of exercise does not mean that you are not using energy. Remember that an important part of the taper is to maintain some training intensity, however, this must be specific to the marathon and therefore can only be achieved by running.
Peter, 25, Northampton
What can I do after I finish the marathon to improve my chances of playing in the final?
A range of foods that are high in protein, carbohydrate and anti-oxidants will help you to recover (take a look at the marathon nutrition section). A light massage may also help soon after the race. Other things you can try are regular movement including light stretching, plenty of sleep and some light exercise (e.g. swimming).
By day 4 after the marathon, it is likely that your recovery will be well underway, however, there is a huge variation in this between individuals, and there is little chance that you'll fresh enough to play at your best in a hard football match.
Mark, 42, Caterham
I think I have just about done enough miles, but if I don't run again until the day it will have been three weeks since my last run, and I am a bit worried that I may not have enough in my legs to finish. Any suggestions about healing or last week activities?
Some light running this week if you are over your injury may help you to feel 'race-ready' and give you some confidence back.
Please can you advise best treatment for blisters, recovery, and training this week in time for London? From an over-anxious Mum!
Therefore most products aimed at preventing blisters are designed to take the friction away from the skin, and can be very effective. To optimise healing of blisters keep them very clean, ideally allowing fresh air to get to them.
Sharon, 27, Warwick
After a couple of minutes of continued running my foot then starts to feel numb and progresses to my lower leg. What could be the problem?
You could try loosening your shoe or changing your socks to a looser fitting pair. It may be that you simply have poor circulation to your feet during running. Other reasons for pins and needles may be related to your running gait causing a trapped nerve, and in this case you would need to have an assessment from a qualified podiatrist.