Running the marathon this weekend? See an expert's advice

January 11, 2013 5:07:02 PM PST
As you've heard, Sunday's Houston Marathon is likely to be a wet one, and the added potential for falls can be disconcerting for runners who are already worried about injuries. So we went to the experts for advice on how to stride down slippery streets with confidence.

On Sunday, Duane Perez will be running his first marathon, and he just learned he'll probably be running in a cold rain.

"As we used to say in the Marine Corps, if it's not raining, we're not training," he said.

Lupe Valero is concerned about running in the rain, too.

"I'm worried about that and hopefully it won't rain too hard and we can finish," he said. "I've run in the rain before and it will be fun, and I love the Houston Marathon."

But if it's rainy and windy, how will that affect runners?

"Late in the race when they start getting tired, the muscles that help stabilize us start getting really tired, so we have to be really careful late in the race not to fall during that time," Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine's Kevin Bastin said.

Bastin also says runners may want to take wider turns on slippery pavement.

A tip for beginning runners is that rain can make chafing worse, so they suggest using Vaseline on your feet, on your socks, between your toes, your arms -- anywhere that might chafe.

Bastin expects to treat more running and chronic injuries, not people falling on rainy streets. His final advice is not to make drastic changes.

"Stay in your routine. Don't try a new drink, a sports drink, a new food. Don't change that at all because you're just setting yourself up for failure," he said.

In Perez's case, it means running in his special shoes.

"You can feel the texture of the ground or floor underneath you so you have less of a tendency to slip and fall," he said.

He's counting on them to get him across his first marathon finish line.

For those runners who feel their skin getting hot during the race, experts suggest they duck into a medical tent to grab some Vaseline rather than waiting until the end of the race.

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