Israeli Ministry of Health – Instructions for Participants in Long-Distance Runs
Instructions for runners
Preparation with regard to drinking should begin a day or two before the race, in order to start it in a quenched state.
General instructions are as follows:
48 hours before the race
- Increase your consumption of carbohydrates such as pasta, rice, potatoes or bananas – all conducive to increased accumulation of fluids in the body (1 gram of glycogen accumulates 2.7 grams of water).
- Salt your food a little more than usual. This too causes increased accumulation of fluids in the body, together with the salts (which are excreted with sweat while running).
- Do not drink excessive amounts of coffee and alcoholic beverages, which increase the excretion of fluids from the body.
- Drink 500 cm2 of water two hours before the start of the race.
- Bring another half-liter bottle of water to the starting line area; drink in small sips until the moment the race starts.
Drink water at each station. In hot weather conditions, pour water over your head and body and cool off with water sprinklers placed along the route. The amount of water you should drink during the run should correspond to the amount lost by perspiring, as calculated in training. Drinking more than this will put you at risk of developing hyponatremia – a low sodium level in the blood. The recommended rate of drinking is 7 ml/kg/hour for men (for a man weighing 70 kg about half a liter per hour) and 6 ml/kg/hour for women. In addition, 100-300 ml/hour should be added according to the rate of perspiration, and according to weather conditions.
After the race
Drink water as needed. As explained above, it is recommended to weigh yourself, both before and after running (without clothing soaked with sweat) in order to assess the volume of liquids lost while running. For every kg weight lost running, drink one kg water (no more!).
Preparing for races of various lengths
Participation in long runs (over 10 km) requires meticulous preparation over time. As part of his training routine, a runner must be familiar with his body, know its limitations and be able to identify possible signs of distress. Thus when arriving at the race he will have: a. Prepared himself for the relevant distance of participation through suitable training; b. While running, identify any stress signals the body transmits and stop the run before collapsing.
Do not participate in races of distances greater than those you have prepared for in your training. For example, if you have trained for the 10 km run, you must not compete in a longer one.
Participation in the half marathon is recommended only after completing at least three 10 km runs, during the two years preceding the half marathon. Participation in the marathon is recommended only after completing at least two half marathons, during the two years preceding the marathon.
Basic rules of conduct for participants in long-distance runs
One should bear in mind that the human body is not built for frequent long-distance runs (20-40 km) and needs to be made used to them. Hence, there should be longer respites between runs of varying lengths: the longer the distance, the longer the respite between runs.
The following guidelines are general, and are not intended to replace an orderly, structured training program. Hence, one should keep updated through websites and workshops conducted throughout Israel, with regard to recommended methods of training and the risks involved in long-distance running. Heat injuries:
- It is recommended to be checked by your family doctor before commencement of training. The examination should include an electrocardiogram (ECG) in order to rule out any congenital heart defects.
- It is recommended to consult a certified trainer with regard to your training plan.
- It is recommended to train in a running group with a trainer.
- In the event of injury or illness, every "lost" day requires going back two days in the training plan.
If you come down with an illness accompanied by fever, upset stomach or diarrhea, during the week preceding the race, do not participate in the race; consult a professional with regard to returning to training. It should be noted that in the health declaration, participants will sign that they undertake to behave accordingly.