Hydration Guide for Runners

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital March 24, 2015

Adequate hydration can improve recovery, minimize injury and cramping, and maximize performance.

Maintaining hydration as a runner is important for health and performance. Water regulates our body temperature, removes waste, helps brings energy to our cells, and cushions our joints. Adequate hydration can improve recovery, minimize injury and cramping, and maximize performance.

When we run, we generate twenty times more heat than when we are at rest. We avoid cooking ourselves by sweating, which cools our bodies. However, sweating also leads to loss of water and electrolytes, including sodium and potassium. In fact, losing more than two to three percent of our body weight through fluid (3-5 pounds for a 150-pound person) can lead to dehydration. When we are dehydrated, we may be tired, get headaches, cramp, and have an increased heart rate. Performance can suffer.

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Running Tips for Cold and Snowy Weather

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital February 19, 2015

Don’t let the cold weather and snow discourage you from running outside.

During the frigid winter months many runners settle for the treadmill, or even worse, for not running at all. Don’t let the cold weather and snow discourage you from running outside. Winters are beautiful here in Boston!

Here are some cold-weather running tips for staying warm and safe during the winter months.

1. Layering and wearing appropriate clothing is crucial for cold-weather running.

You will want to keep most of your body covered and protected from exposure. Wear synthetic, sweat-wicking clothing as your innermost layer. Wearing moisture-wicking clothing as the fabric closest to your skin keeps your body dry and makes your clothes a better insulator. Make sure you are not wearing cotton underwear or socks. Lycra or polypropylene running tights are optimal for the waist down. Your outermost layer should be wind-resistant and waterproof if it is raining or snowing out. GORE-TEX® is a breathable material and is ideal for your outermost layer. If it is very cold, a fleece liner or a long-sleeve shirt is a good option for a middle layer. Dressing in layers allows you to adapt to the weather during your run. A significant amount of body heat can be lost through the head, so make sure you wear a hat. A balaclava or face mask is a good idea when it is extremely cold. Do not forget to wear gloves as well! After your run, it is important to quickly change into dry and warm clothes.

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Last-Minute Tips for Marathon Runners

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital April 3, 2014

Make sure that you're prepared for race day before you head to Hopkinton – and the finish line. (Photo by Steve Gilbert)

Last month, Dr. Elizabeth Matzkin, Surgical Director of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Women’s Sports Medicine Program and Team Physician for Stonehill College Athletics, offered runners important advice on how to prevent overuse injuries, which account for over 20 percent of running injuries in the leg. Now, with the Boston Marathon only days away, she has some last-minute tips for avoiding injuries and other problems on race day.

Hopefully, you and the thousands of runners training for the Marathon have avoided the most common overuse injuries of the legs by having trained properly over the past few months. The numerous hours and miles of training are now complete, and the last bits of preparation can begin.

Here are a few last-minute tips for avoiding injuries and other problems on April 21:

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Preventing Overuse Injuries – Tips for Runners

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital March 25, 2014

Increasing your training slowly is important for helping to prevent overuse injuries.

As the weather warms up in the Northeast, many runners are either gearing up for the Boston Marathon or just heading out for an enjoyable jog around the neighborhood. Dr. Elizabeth Matzkin, Surgical Director of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Women’s Sports Medicine Program and Team Physician for Stonehill College Athletics, has some important advice for these runners on how to prevent overuse injuries, which account for over 20 percent of running injuries in the leg.

Overuse injuries can be largely prevented with proper training. The most important thing to remember is to increase your training slowly – by about 10 percent per week. This gradual approach allows your muscles, tendons, and bones to sufficiently react and adapt to the stress you’re introducing.

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Young Female Athletes in Danger of Osteoporosis?

Posted by Blog Administrator March 16, 2012

female athlete

Female athlete triad involves inadequate nutrient intake, irregular menstrual cycles, and premature bone loss (osteoporosis).

A 19-year-old who used to run three-to-seven miles a day, Laura now feels pain and limps even when walking. Jessica is a competitive college lacrosse player who has repeatedly sat on the sidelines during the past two seasons with foot pain. Both women are being treated for stress fractures, but they also share increased risk for a condition that can lead to irreversible loss of bone density if not recognized and treated early.

Dr. Elizabeth Matzkin, Surgical Director of the Women’s Sports Medicine Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, explains that, while stress fractures are among the most common sports injuries in women, they also are a potential indicator of the female athlete triad. The female athlete triad is a common spectrum of interrelated issues, including inadequate nutrient intake, irregular menstrual cycles, and premature bone loss (osteoporosis), which can result in long-term, irreversible loss of bone density.  Both competitive and recreational female athletes can be found to have problems related to the female athlete triad.

“Laura and Jessica are expected to fully recover from their stress fractures and resume their athletic activities, but they also are being closely evaluated for underlying problems associated with the female athlete triad,” said Dr. Matzkin. “It is critical that this condition be recognized and treated early because lost bone density can never be replaced. Without intervention, women with unrecognized signs of the female athlete triad are at risk for repeat stress fractures and serious bone issues later in life.”

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