Fitness

Mind your running Ps and Qs

Be a considerate runner To enjoy your experience

Be a considerate runner To enjoy your experience   | Photo Credit: JOHN MACDOUGALL

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Make your marathon special for yourself and for fellow runners by exercising care and courtesy

What makes a good running event? Is it the organisers and the arrangements? The city? The objective or the cause for which the event is conducted? All these certainly contribute a long way in enhancing the quality of a running event. But ultimately, it is all about the runners. It is they who can make or break the event. Running events bind runners together and are perhaps a fine example of peaceful congregation. They are perfect avenues to celebrate human spirit of oneness and the joy of coming together. While there are standard rules and regulations, a little more care on part of the participants can enhance the experience both for themselves and their fellow runners.

At the start line:

Most running events have corrals at the start point and runners are grouped based on their past timings. If not, find a spot based on your target. Not every one running is aiming for the prize positions and hence, need not start at the gun time. Race timing, provided with the help of a chip, that captures your time from the time you start.

If you have a warm-up routine, find a quiet place to exercise without disturbing others

Listen to the instructions of the race officials ahead of the event. If there are any last minute route diversions, it will help you to be aware of it.

On the route:

Your running bibs or numbers must be pinned to the front of your shirt. This helps the race marshals to track your progress and respond quickly in case of emergencies. The route is entirely reserved only for runners sporting the running bib.

Follow the directions provided by the race officials as to which side of the road should be used for running. Remember that the road is shared by runners from different events and there needs to be adequate place for everyone. If no instructions are provided, keep to the extreme left of the road.

Avoid overtaking. If you must, call out to the runner in the front well in advance, so he or she can make way for you. Make sure you leave plenty of room before you move across in front of them.

Do not stop or slow down during the race for any reason. If you would like to stop for taking a walk break, raise your hand to indicate you are slowing down/stopping. It helps the runner behind you. Look back to ensure you are not coming in the way of runners behind you.

Do not walk or run in groups of more than two or three. Walking in larger groups obstructs other participants. Avoid walking in the middle of the road.

Many organisers ban use of headphones/earphones. It is advisable to avoid them. If you still like to use them, keep the volume low so that you can still hear the instructions from officials and runners behind you.

Aid/Water stations

Always choose the farthest point to collect your glass of water/sports drink or any of the refreshments provided. Once collected, leave the station immediately.

If the aid stations look crowded, wait for your turn to pick up your requirements. Use the time to relax and recharge yourself.

Try to use the waste bins to dispose the cups or other waste. It helps to keep the route clean for other runners as well as the city post event.

Thank the volunteers, for it makes the experience pleasant for everyone involved.

Finish line/Finish area

Once you finish the race, do not stop immediately. Keep walking till you bring your body to normal heart rate.

Crowding at finish area must be avoided as it affects the functioning of race officials and medical teams to handle any emergency.

Most finish areas are designed for unitary flow of the crowd. Follow the directions provided at the venue for breakfast, medals and exit.

Medical Emergencies

In case you find someone in trouble, call out the nearest volunteer and inform them. Do not try to attend them on your own (unless you are trained for it) or offer them any assistance. Volunteers are generally briefed on how to handle emergency and they can get in action quickly.

Adhere to advice of volunteers and medical personnel when asked to quit the event.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 1:58:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/fitness/what-to-do-and-what-not-to-do-when-running-a-marathon/article25103915.ece

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