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Health safety tips offered to runners

Date Posted: 2007-02-23

A doctor assigned to the Okinawa Marathon medical team is offering some practical advice for less experienced runners participating in Sunday’s event.

“Poor shoes can cause sores, lumbago and even stomachaches,” says Doctor Makoto Isa. “This is not the time to wear new shoes. Runners should wear shoes they’ve had for a long time and are well broken in.” He notes “runners should fasten shoestrings loosely.”

Isa, head of the Isa Plastic Surgery Clinic, says convulsions can happen when runners don’t drink enough before the race, as well as during the run. “It’s better to drink about 100cc each 20 minutes,” he says. “There are lots of cases where runners drink too late. If a runner does get a stomach ache during the race, he recommends he “make blood circulate through internal organs by passing your hand over your belly, rotating clockwise to increase the circulation.” He emphasizes runners should eat not later than 2-3 hours before the race.

Weather Sunday could be cold, so “If it is cold, I recommend runners wear clear windbreakers. I think it is good because it will prevent rubbing.” The doctor says runners wearing tights should be careful. He also reminds runners to wear a hat and to use suntan lotion.

Isa says less experienced runners should pace themselves carefully, not running hard during the early stages of the race. “They could experience convulsions or stomachache, so they should be careful to begin running hard only after 35 kilometers.

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