By Coach Amy Anderson
Marathon training and pain killers
...not a combo that makes your coach happy.
If you need to take (or even tempted to take) ibuprofen or tylenol or any other painkiller because of running, then we need to discuss it. Running should not hurt. Sure, you're going to have some aches, some soreness, some issues while training for a marathon, but it should not be painful! And if it is, then you need to address the problem, not hush up the symptoms with drugs so that you can continue running. That's only going to make the problem worse, not better.
Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, etc) is an anti-inflammatory. Its use by marathoners and other endurance athletes has been linked to hyponatremia, a potentially fatal condition.
Acetaminophen (Tylenol, etc) is not an anti-inflammatory and therefore is unlikely to make your running aches & pains feel any better. Worse, acetaminophen can cause liver damage even when used in normal dosages, and there is added risk if you take it before or after drinking alcohol.
Do your own research on these subjects, but my recommendation is that you stick to ice baths, soaking in Barton Springs, and/or lukewarm/tepid soaks in epsom salts. Talk to your coach about your aches and pains so that we can modify your schedule and keep you on the path to your goal! Remember: if you listen to your body when it whispers, it will not yell and scream at you!