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Dr. Steve Hamilton: Flying Pig approaches; not everyone is a pig so take a deep breath . . .

As the Cincinnati Flying Pig fast approaches, many of us might fancy ourselves “pigs” – running the marathon, this weekend.

It happens every year. We get caught up in the momentum of one of our hometown’s iconic events. It’s understandable, but not wise. If you haven’t been training, not only are you not ready for 26 miles, you may not be ready for even one mile.

Perhaps you remember fondly your younger self running the anchor leg of the state championship 4 X 400 in high school. OR maybe you actually ran “The Pig,” a few years ago. OR you’ve just been cooped up all winter and want to get back in shape.

Dr. Steve Hamilton

Whatever the reason, I ask that before you lace up your shoes, you take a breath. If you haven’t been training for a long run/race, then your body is not ready to take that on.


Given that, let’s assume you are NOT running the 2019 marathon, but you want to start running – or running again. You can and should do that right. I’d rather not see you at one of the Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine offices (due to an injury).

Smart preparation and proper training are critical to your running success.

Here are some tips to help you get started the right way:

1. Wear the right shoes. Talk to the professionals at a reputable store.

2. Warm up thoroughly. Do this before every run.

3. Avoid excess strain. There is a difference between pain and soreness.

4. Get good recovery after exertion. Allow your body to recuperate after every workout.

5. Stay hydrated and eat healthy. Fuel the body to operate more effectively and efficiently.

As a surgeon at Beacon, I see patients who (in many cases) simply didn’t plan properly and end up seeing me for knee surgery, hip surgery, ankle issues, labral tears, stress fractures, etc. They pushed too hard. They neglected to thoroughly stretch. They didn’t rest/recover enough. They started training too late for a long race (or even for that first jog around the neighborhood).

Exercising is great for the body, but preparing poorly or doing it wrong can lead to injuries that may keep you from running at all. That is counter-productive. And avoidable.

We all may not be ready to run 26 miles on Sunday, but we can be more active. We simply must be smart about it.

Not everyone is a pig.

Steve Hamilton, M.D., is a Cincinnati native and proud LaSalle alumnus. He is a sports medicine physician and orthopaedic surgeon with special interests including minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder, hip, knee and ankle, treatment of athletic foot and ankle injuries, and fracture treatment. Dr. Hamilton joined Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine as the first sports medicine physician in the area with fellowship training in hip arthroscopy.

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