Come 20th January 2013, and Mumbai will witness yet another race day courtesy the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon or #SCMM as it is referred to in social media circles. Mumbai has always seen participants in high spirits running for the Mumbai Marathon. Not only the youngsters, but the oldies too pull up their socks to run the 42 kms race. But what if you are a heart patient and still wish to run in the marathon? Is it safe to run in such circumstances?
If you are a heart patient, then unless you are re-evaluated by a qualified cardiologist you should not participate in the marathon. Your fitness levels must be justified with proper tests.
“Coronary artery bypass graft surgery or angioplasty patients can definitely participate in the Marathon provided their recent stress test, 2D echo colour Doppler evaluation, pulse and blood pressure are certified as acceptable by the cardiologist,” informs Dr. Aashish Contractor, HOD, Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation, Asian Heart Institute.
Patients who have recently had a heart attack should avoid participating in the marathon at least for 3 months. For complete healing and healthy scar formation it takes almost 2-3 months.
Non-athletes or first timers need to first acclimatize and prepare themselves with brisk walks. If a one hour brisk walk is carried out without any complaints, then slow jogging can be initiated post two weeks or so. If a person is grossly de-conditioned for effort tolerance (but has normal ECG, 2D Echo and stress test results) then brisk walks are advisable for a longer time stretch to prepare the physique for jogging and bearing stress later.
Cardiac patients who wish to participate need to take all the prescribed medications in the morning at least an hour before the actual marathon run. Diabetic's can skip one morning dose of oral tablet for sugar control to avoid hypoglycemia.
All participants need to carry glucose energy power drinks or powder and ensure adequate hydration two hours before the marathon.
Dr. Contractor gives tips for a safe Marathon Run:
- Make sure you get adequate rest the night before the race. Eat a dinner rich in carbohydrates as that is your main fuel for exercise
- Have a light breakfast before leaving home. Arrive at the start point at least an hour before the start time to avoid last minute anxiety and chaos.
- During the race, run at your own pace. Avoid getting carried away by those around and running at their pace.
- Consume water or any other oral rehydration fluid supplied at each water station along the way.
- If you experience any chest discomfort, unusual shortness of breath, nausea or giddiness during the race, stop and take rest for a few minutes. Seek medical help if the discomfort persists more than a few minutes.
- Write down your emergency contact number at the back of your running bib.
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
Read more : How to Train For the Marathon
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