The Vodafone Coimbatore Marathon on October 6 is in aid of the Coimbatore Cancer Foundation. Eight thousand participants will run in three different categories — 5 km, 10 km and the half marathon of 21 km. Vaibhav Shastry gets some training and nutrition tips from physiotherapist Kannabiran Bhojan and the Sports Medicine Team of Ortho One Orthopaedic Speciality Centre

Choosing the right shoes

Three factors are to be kept in mind while purchasing running shoes. The first consideration is what foot type the runner has (high arch, flat foot or normal arch). Then analyse which part of the foot the runner strikes when he runs (heel striker, forefoot striker or mid-foot striker). Thirdly determine the running stride pattern.

Purchase running shoes from a specialty store or from someone who is knowledgeable about matching the correct type of running shoes based on your foot type and stride pattern.

Try on the shoes later in the day, when your feet have swelled to the maximum size.

While selecting the correct shoe size, ensure there is at least half an inch space between the front of your shoe and your longest toe.

Consider purchasing two pairs of running shoes. Alternating their use every other day increases life expectancy of each pair.

Purchase a new pair of running shoes around four to six months before the marathon. The purpose is to have enough runs to get used to the new pair of shoes before the race.

Training regimen

Make stretching a regular part of your running routine. Refer to texts and magazine articles and take the help of aerobics instructors who will demonstrate specific stretching techniques. Stretch thoroughly after your run.

Use weight training as part of your regimen. Develop a strong upper body which will minimize fatigue and stiffness of the arms, shoulders and neck.

Weight training for the legs create strong quadriceps and hips, which will protect your lower body from injuries.

Strengthen your abdominal region which will help protect the back and maintain a proper running posture.

If you are over 40 and have a history of medical problems, consult your physician before starting on a strength-training program.

Nutrition and hydration

Stick to a balanced diet.

Have low Glycemic Index Carbohydrate foods prior to your run.

Eat four to six small meals a day, every four to five hours.

Avoid anything heavy 60 to 90 minutes before your runs.

Avoid simple carbohydrates and eat 45 minutes to four hours before your exercise.

Drink a minimum of eight to ten extra glasses of water per day after your runs.

Drink plenty of electrolytes, but not in place of water.

Drink up until two hours before the race and small amounts during the race, to stay hydrated.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol, the night before long runs and the race.

Hydration belts and shoulder bags are good ways of carrying extra fluid during long runs.

Strategies to prevent injury

If you suspect you have an injury, go on a preventive rehabilitation program to minimise the damage.

Use ice or anti-inflammatory medicine depending on your type of injury. Take rest for a day or two to allow the injury to heal.

Stay well hydrated to avoid heat injuries.

Purchase a new pair of running shoes when you have covered a distance of 700 kms on your old ones.

Massage therapy, pouring cold water on your legs or soaking your legs in a whirlpool of hot water (105 degrees) a couple of hours after your run can help rejuvenate your fatigued muscles.