Want to run a marathon overseas? Brace yourself

Fitness Q & A

Health & Fitness

January 18, 2004|By Gailor Large | Gailor Large,Special to the Sun

My brother and I want to run a marathon in Europe. Where do we find information on races overseas?

The Association of International Marathons and Road Races Web site is a good place to start: www.aims-association.org. Competing abroad can be difficult, particularly with an event as strenuous as the marathon. Be aware of what you're getting into. Common travel problems like jet lag and adjusting to foreign foods will seem enormous when your body needs to be in top form to compete.

If you plan on sightseeing, build in a few days before the race (you may not be up for it afterward). For information on specific races, check these Web sites:

* Athens Classic Marathon:

www.athensclassicmarathon.gr

* Berlin Marathon:

www.berlin-marathon.com

* London Marathon:

www.london-marathon.co.uk

* Paris Marathon:

www.parismarathon.com

* City of Rome Marathon:

www.maratonadiroma.it

From a medical perspective, are there health benefits to a deep tissue massage? Does it really loosen lactic acid and keep you from being sore after a hard workout?

According to Scott Brown, chief of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Sinai Hospital, there are medical benefits to deep tissue massage. Among them, it breaks up scar tissue, promotes muscle relaxation and can help reduce fluid buildup in muscles and surrounding tissues.

If easing an achy body is what you're after, you may be in for a letdown. Brown says a massage is unlikely to reduce post-exercise soreness (which is caused by the breakdown of muscle fibers).

But there are other reasons to visit a massage therapist after a workout. Says Brown, "Massage after exercise may help reduce additional muscle spasm from overwork."

Do you have a fitness question? Write to Fitness, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278.

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