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The elite marathon runner: problems during and after competition.
  1. P Hölmich,
  2. E Darre,
  3. F Jahnsen,
  4. T Hartvig-Jensen


    Two questionnaires were given to the participants of the Danish national marathon championship to obtain information on health, training habits, previous injuries and the medical problems sustained during and after the competition. All 60 participants replied to both questionnaires. The elite runner is training between 90-150 km per week, using one daily training session. He is generally careful about stretching and warming up and down. Forty-three per cent of runners sustained injuries in the last year that prevented them from training, but only 3% needed to stay off work. The most common reasons for not completing the race were exhaustion and injuries to the lower extremities. Sixty-one per cent of the runners who did not drink at all refreshment stations dropped out, whereas only 27% of those who did dropped out. There was no difference in relation to results or medical problems between the group who used a special diet before the run and those who did not. The major medical problems were gastrointestinal disturbances, skin lesions and pain or cramps in the lower extremities. No serious injuries were reported.

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