Baltimore Running Festival: how to prevent injuries

The Baltimore Running Festival is still a few days away, but Dr. John Senatore has been seeing injured patients for weeks.

The veteran marathoner and chief of podiatry at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore said people have already overtrained and come to see him with strained muscles, stress fractures and other injuries. 

He tells people if it hurts to run then skip the race. But he expects people will run away.

Senatore will be on hand at Saturday's race as a part of a team of MedStar doctors treating injured runners at the festival, which includes a marathon, half-marathon and 5k.

"The marathon is a very unforgiving race," he said.

MedStar Harbor Hospital will also hold a free injury assessment clinic Monday, when people discover aches and pains they didn't notice right after the race. The clinic is scheduled for 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. No insurance needed. 

Patients will be assessed by Dr. Jeff Mayer, primary care sports medicine physician and Josh Billings, a physical therapist and running program coordinator for MedStar National Rehabilitation network.

 Appointments,  though not necessary, can be made by calling 410-350-8372.

In the meantime, here are some tips for race day from Dr. Senatore, to help prevent injuries and other medical problems, such as dehydration.

1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate starting early race morning.

2. Pull out all clothing the night before that will be worn the day of the race. Use the 20 degree rule....plan on wearing clothes that you would walk in 20 degrees above the race time temperature. Make sure your chip is on your shoe.

3. Never wear anything new (that includes shoes,socks, and clothing) nor eat or drink anything that has not been consumed during a long run.

4. Start the race SLOW. Do not get caught up in the race time hype. Have a plan (pace) and stick to it.

5. Start the race with disposable clothing. Once the race starts toss them into the crowd. Do not over heat!



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