Weather it is your 1st or 25th Comrades, the challenge is one that requires great strength, courage and determination. As your Chiropractor in Bedfordview, we strive to assist all our ultra athlete patients to perform at their highest peak and potential, to help you achieve your best times and performance. So, here are our top 4 tips to make this Comrades Marathon a little easier on the body:
1.) Sports Massage: Have a sports massage 2 – 3 days before race day. A massage of the back, legs and calf should be deep, but not painful and should last about 40 minutes. Massage helps to relax the muscles, ease tension and tightness and to prepare the muscles for the long journey ahead.
2.) Epsom Salts Bath: Dissolve 1 cup of Epsom Salts in a bath of hot water (as hot as you can handle) and soak in the bath for about 20 minutes. The heat of the water will increase blood circulation and flow to the muscles and skin, while the Epsom Salts acts like a tonic to help with muscle cramping. Toxins stored in the muscles could reduce the efficiency in the activation of the muscle fibres during a long endurance race, such as the Comrades. The Epsom Salts acts as a good magnesium source, as it is absorbed by the body through the skin. An Epsom Salts bath also has a relaxing effect on the body for a better work performance.
3.) Hydrate: The race is really gruelling and many athletes succumb to severe dehydration during the race – leading to failure to complete the race or poor result times. Drink water regularly during the race.
4.) Mental Focus: Many 1st time ultra marathon athletes do not realise how intense Comrades is. They prepare well for the Marathon by training for months if not years. However, this is just the physical training and most people forget about the mental training for the race. Most athletes will hit what is called “the wall” during the race and will struggle to pull themselves out of it. Staying motivated is one of the most difficult things during a challenge like the Comrades, but being mentally prepared will give you an advantage over your competitors. Focus on the mileage that you have already completed during the race, not how far you still have to go. Keep focused on your surroundings – enjoy the beauty around you as you run. Appreciate the fact that you are competing at the highest level and that, by qualifying for the Comrades, you have already achieved more than over 90% of the population in South Africa. Imagine and feel the exhilaration of completing the Comrades Marathon: this is after all the goal and reason as to why you are competing, right?
We wish all our Ultra Marathon Athletes a fantastic race day! All the best of luck and enjoy the moment! We look forward to hearing about your experiences after the race! We wish you all a BETTER BACKS DAY and look forward to the challenges that you bring back with you for us to solve!