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Runners always stand to benefit from some friendly sports medicine advice. Hear from 2 orthopedic surgeons from the Sports Medicine and Performance Center – who also happen to be marathon runners. Scott Mullen, MD, offers last-minute tips for athletes preparing for big races. For runners who have been injured, Dr. Mullen and Bruce Toby, MD, discuss when to have injuries evaluated and when to rest.

Final tips to runners preparing for a race
Just make sure you're prepared from a clothing standpoint for whatever that day brings, number one. The second thing is to think about how you need to hydrate if it's cold, if it's hot and, if you haven't tried, what you're planning to eat during the race day. Make sure you've practiced with those sorts of things. And then, most importantly, listen to your body. If you have something that's really been bothering you leading up to this point, now is kind of the time to decide, is this going to become a problem for me? How bad do I really want to do this race? And what are the consequences going to be for me?

Injured when running?
I think if you've actually fallen and certainly if you have any sort of bony deformity or a lot of bruising and swelling that came on right away, something in your ankles or knees or feet or something like that where you can't stand on it, you can't bear weight, then certainly that's not something that you want to wait on. You know you want to be seen by a doctor, potentially have an X-ray to evaluate that injury. Other things, such as joint pains and things like that, if you did slip, if you did slip, but you caught yourself, if you're having pain still a few days later certainly, if you're trying to run and it's getting worse as you run, then that's probably a sign that it needs to be checked out. If it's something that you can kind of deal with and if you go run and it actually gets better during the run, then it's probably OK to continue to watch it.

When to seek help following a running injury
I think the first thing to consider is have you taken off appropriate amount of time? You know, runners are about the most dedicated of all athletes and many of them feel like they have to run every day. Well, sometimes, the recipe for a cure is to give it some time. And that is not just taking one day off, but sometimes a week or two weeks. I think if the problems persist for over two weeks, then I think probably, seeking help will make good sense. Now, all that has to be put in context. Obviously, if you're running and you feel something pop or or or you can hardly walk, maybe seeking help sooner rather than later would make good sense in those situations.

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