Competitive Running

Is Ibuprofen On Race Day Really Going To Hurt Me??

posted over 8 years ago | Report

I have a bad back and have been trying to get through my long runs without Ibuprofen. I have my marathon in 12 days and my sciatica is really acting up. I had to take Ibuprofen on my last 21 miler or I wouldn't have been able to run after 16 miles because I really having more pain then my norm. I have taken three days in a row off. I have gotten a massage and I am starting a dose of Medrol to get the inflammation down. I will run the marathon pain or not.It is all related to inflammation and I need to get the inflammation down. My kidneys are fine.I have taken Ibuprofen for years and used to take it before all my long runs but with the recent reports not sure is I should take it or not come race day. One dose can't be bad if I hydrate faithfully at the water stops every two miles. I plan to do this. Looking for advice. I will run and I will finish. I just don't want to do it with severe pain.

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  • Joe
    Joe Sendmail

    Like any med I'd suggest that you really don't want to be on it long term as there are side effects to consider. Need to get the root cause sorted and stop masking the issue.

    That said I took it before my last marathon for achilles issues and I lived to tell the tale albeit you could count on two hands the number of times I've taken it over the last year so I'm not a frequent user.

    posted over 8 years ago

  • I have a herniated disc and spinal stenosis and have gone through epidurals, PT, steroids and have had pain that has gotten better and then come back on and off over the years. The pain I have now is manageable but who knows how I will feel come marathon day. I am starting the medrol dose pack today and it should help. I just don't want to be having pain that gets so bad race day I am limping to the finish. Guess I am fearing the what ifs of marathon day and if I am in pain not then it will probably be there race day. My goal is to knock it down before then. 3 days off of running and a good massage didn't do it so now I am taking Medrol. I am trying to not take Ibuprofen race day but will if needed I guess.

    posted over 8 years ago

  • I'm not an expert or a doctor, but I've heard that taking advil or ibuprofen before a race is not recommended at all. Here is something I found on "Ask The Running Doc" on RunnersWorld:

    "I am a physician and would also like to reiterate the danger in taking NSAIDs before athletic activity. NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve), ketoprofen (Oruvail), diclofenac (Voltaren), Celebrex, and others. DO NOT take these until AFTER the athletic activity, and only when fully hydrated and urinating normally. Besides hyponatremia, one can also get kidney failure, especially if dehydrated. For the person above who noticed no problems, all that means is the person had no symptoms, but minor damage could have been done to that person's body."

    I do believe that Tylenol may be better, but again, I'm not an expert.

    posted over 8 years ago

  • How many you plan to take? If you can, try taking Tylenol. Excessive ibuprofen in a race can increase your odds of kidney failure. I can't imagine that taking a single ibuprofen will be harmful. But, like anything health related, best to get your doctor's opinion.

    posted over 8 years ago

  • Chances are that if you take it, nothing will go wrong. I know many people who take ibuprofen during runs without having any significant problems. But the risk definitely exists, and you have to be willing to accept that. I have a friend who recently had pretty bad kidney failure from taking ibuprofen, so remember that the risk is real. He was running a 100k, ran a record for the course, and finished pretty dehydrated from the effort, so it wasn't helped by how he pushed his body otherwise, but he is also more fit and healthier than just about anyone else I know. Take care of yourself during the marathon by staying fueled and hydrated and not overdoing it, and if you decide to take it, accept that there is a small but real risk something bad will happen.

    posted over 8 years ago

  • After reading this article in NY Times, I simply don't consider Ibuprofen as a helper item in my marathon preparation: The study mentions in the article even suggests that it increases the chances of inflammation!

    posted over 8 years ago | edited over 8 years ago

  • Dang! That's why I like checking out dailymile. Now I know better not to take Advil before running.

    @Debbie, best to talk to your doctor, goodluck to your upcoming race!

    posted over 8 years ago

  • i always take aleve before a race, when you run your feet swell up and any NSAID(ibuprofen, aleve, etc..) helps prevent it.

    posted over 8 years ago

  • I'd avoid NSAIDs and other pain meds before a run, but your MD will have more specific advice.

    posted over 8 years ago

  • celebrex

    posted over 8 years ago

  • I know this might sound strange, and I am in no way affiliated with this product, but the Sacro Wedgy did more for my sciatica than anything else I have tried. I was skeptical but I was desperate to try anything because I had been through PT and had taken what I think are probably unhealthy levels of anti inflammatories. The doc. kept saying it was ok, but using them long term was really starting to bother me. So I found the Sacro Wedgy and literally after one 20 treatment I was 90% better. The Sacro Wedgy is basically a piece of hard rubber that you strategically place under your sacrum as you lay on the floor and you just relax and lay there. Sounds to simple to be true but what it is doing is stretching your pelvis in such a way as to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve. Anyhow, I found it on and I am sure you can google it.

    posted over 8 years ago

  • You may want to listen to this ( ) before ever taking a NSAID before a long run or race again.

    *****WARNING - Science content!!!!!!!*****

    posted over 8 years ago

  • in reply to what said: I know this might sound strange, and I am in no way affiliated with this product, but the Sacro Wedgy did more for my sciatica than anything else I have tried. I was skeptical but I was desperate to try anything because I had been through PT and ... read more

    Thank Sharon, i look it up i believe i will try one.

    posted about 7 years ago

  • I would not take it before running, only after. You also might consider looking at shorter races in the future. Listen to your body.

    posted about 7 years ago

  • Tylenol is your friend. Avoid Ibuprofen or you can have bleeding out of parts down there and it is not good. Don't take ibuprofen within 24 or at least 12 hours prior.

    Have you tried physical therapy where they can use a tens unit on you? I had SI issues and the PT was able to not only get it back in line, but show me how to fix it again myself. Also, he got me my own tens unit that helps.

    Oh - do you use things like Bio Freeze - that is a spray that helps with pain - love that stuff.

    posted about 7 years ago | edited about 7 years ago

  • Folks, Tylenol (Acetaminophen) is NOT your friend. It is the culprit for one of the biggest lawsuits going on in the US right now due to liver damage. If your body is being compromised through alcohol use, or stressors such as intense exercise, you are taking a really dangerous risk. I hear stories all day long from people who have gone through liver failure or have loved ones die unexpectedly due to Tylenol.

    posted about 7 years ago

  • Years ago, in one of my first 5 Marathons, I thought I'd try taking ibuprofen before the start. All I can say is that my legs felt weird from the go, and after about 10 Miles, they felt like crap. Of course my feeling bad could have been attributed to something else, but one way of looking at it was that some of the pain of running was taken away due to the drug, thus encourage me to run faster. When it wore off, BANG!

    posted about 7 years ago

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