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Marathon Training Q & A

We’re in the home stretch for training for the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon. As runners push their limits during the last month of training, it’s important to do so in a smart and safe way. UPMC Sports Medicine marathon experts Aaron Mares, MD, and Ron DeAngelo, MS, recently took to Twitter to answer marathon prep questions.

Q: What is Dynamic Stretching, And is it Important to Incorporate With My Marathon Training?

Ron: This is movement stretching, such as high knee butt kicks or lunges. It is highly recommended and can help improve time and decrease the risk of injury.

Q: What is the Best Way to Re-energize After a Marathon?

Dr. Mares: Three steps: let your body rest, restore the energy supply with a good meal, and replace the lost fluid.

Q: Are Carbs Before Long Runs and Protein After Still the Rule of Thumb?

Ron: Yes. Carbs with some protein prior to a long run, and a larger portion of protein and fewer carbs- like chocolate milk- afterwards.

Q: If My Shoes Are Giving Me Problems, is it Too Late to Buy and Use a New Pair?

Dr. Mares: It’s not too late, but make sure you break them in by walking and doing other typical daily activities.

Q: I’ve Recently Increased My Miles and I’m Experiencing Mild Pain in My Kneecap. Should I be Worried?

Ron: Try foam rolling followed by hip flexor and quad stretches. Include dynamic warm-up as well. If pain persists, seek medical attention.

Q: What Kind of Medical Services Are Available on Marathon Day?

Dr. Mares: There are on-course aid stations, mobile medical teams, and finish line aid stations and a medical tent staffed by more than 250 volunteers.

Q: What’s a Good Half Marathon Pace for a Beginner?

Ron: Your first goal should be to finish without injury. Running comfortably, somewhere between 2:30 & 3:00, depending on your fitness level.

More marathon training, race day, and recovery tips are available on the UPMC Sports Medicine Marathon page.