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Common sports injuries – especially those that occur because you are training excessively or overexerting yourself – strike without notice and cause much agony. To give yourself fast relief from the discomfort – while you decide whether the pain warrants a trip to your doctor – here are some convenient DIY fixes.
DIY Fix: Pinch Your Upper Lip
To get rid of a muscle cramp when all else fails, try pinching your upper lip. Experts don’t understand why this acupressure point works, but it often does.
Wrenched Knee Or Sprained Ankle
DIY Fix: Ice For 25 Minutes
When you wrench a knee or sprain an ankle, grab a bag of ice and a stopwatch. Doctors have concluded that icing an injury for exactly 25 minutes is the optimum time for quickest healing. The healing effect begins at 5 minutes and peaks at 25. Icing for longer than 30 minutes can damage the tissue and nerves.
DIY Fix: Rest, Ice, Compression And Elevation
The recipe for treating a minor muscle pull or strain is simple – rest, ice, compression, and elevation – but a lot of guys screw up the elevation part. Resting your leg on the coffee table while you pop a couple of cold ones isn’t enough. Unless you’ve got the injured area above the level of your heart—and preferably your head as well—you’re not minimising the swelling.
Also, within 24 to 48 hours, try to do some light aerobic exercise. This will deliver fresh blood to the injured site, blast out lactic-acid buildup, further reduce swelling, and significantly speed recovery time. Just make sure you don’t stress the area. If you have tennis elbow, go for a run. A pulled hamstring? Ride the stationary bike.
DIY Fix: Arch Your Toes
The next time you get one of these painful muscle spasms, try this remedy: Arch your toes back toward you while gently rubbing your calf. Start behind the knee and slide your hand down the muscle to the heel, then repeat. Rub along the length of the muscle, not across it.
DIY Fix: Blow Out As Hard As You Can
To get rid of a side stitch, push three fingers deep into your stomach just below your ribs on the side that hurts, purse your lips tightly, and blow out as hard as you can. Doing this should release the pressure on the diaphragm.
DIY Fix: An Ice-Cold Can of Beer
Frozen or very cold cans of beer make great ice packs: Hold one against your aching muscles. With an elastic bandage, you can even wrap a frosty can against the back of your thigh. Or use a sweatband to strap a can near your elbow after a tennis match. A metal can transmits the cold very rapidly. Just make sure to put some thin fabric between the skin and the can to avoid frostbite.