The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Dr. Geldwert & Dr. Minara Share NYC Triathlon Stories

Posted by on Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

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Nearly 4,000 pro, elite, amateur, and physically challenged athletes recently participated in the 2014 Panasonic New York City Triathlon. This Olympic Distance race consists of a 1,500 meter swim, a 40 K bike, and a 10 k run. As you can imagine, there were plenty of sore bodies by the end of the race!

Dr. Josef Geldwert of The Center for Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine in Manhattan served as the Co-Medical Director. His associate, Dr. Ryan Minara, was named Podiatry Captain. The podiatric professionals share their stories from the NYC Triathlon, along with tips for maintaining healthy feet throughout the running season.

NYC Tri
Nearly 4,000 people participated in this year’s NYC Triathlon. Dr. Geldwert was privileged to be an official medical director on staff that day.

Injuries at the NYC Triathlon

There are several designated medical areas along the Triathlon route: at the start of the race, at the start of the swim, at the end of the swim, at the start of the biking portion, and at the finish line. Our very own Dr. Geldwert was stationed at the finish line, where he coordinated the activities of 90 volunteers, including Dr. Ryan Minara, who served as a treating physician.

“At the finish line, we deal with acute, sub-acute and lower extremity injuries,” explains Dr. Ryan Minara. “Mostly we see heat stroke, exhaustion and dehydration cases, which are treated by other teams specializing in ER/triage. But I dealt with a lot of Triathlon participants who suffered cramps, sprains, abrasions, scrapes, lacerations and blisters. As people transition from the swimming to walking or running, it’s easy to step on something or scrape a toe.”

The weather was beautiful this year — overcast and cool, not too hot or humid — says the medical team. However, there were still a few harrowing injuries. “We saw a few bike injuries, including a collar bone fracture,” Dr. Minara recalls. Often bikers will get tangled up with one another on a turn or when first pushing off. The results can end a race in a hurry.

By far, the swimming portion is the most dangerous aspect of the race, however. “There was a person who stopped breathing in the water and they were resuscitated!” says Dr. Minara. Last year, someone died in the water. Six years ago, there were jellyfish lurking in the East River. “Imagine CITY people in the Hudson River,” the doctor laughs. “Looking back, it was quite comical, but people were actually getting stung in the face!”

Yet, in general, the nature of a triathlon lends itself to fewer injuries compared to marathons or other races. Dr. Minara explains: “You are working the body in different ways. With JUST running, you are doing the same thing over and over again, which increases the chances of sustaining overuse injuries.”

How to Prepare for the NYC Triathlon

One might be surprised to hear it, but the NYC podiatrist says that it’s not about the feet. Proper preparation involves total body mechanics, he says. He offers the following tips for a successful triathlon in 2015:

1. Train your body in a very specific way. Train OUTSIDE: get out in the open water; bike in snow, on the road. Bike 40 K, then run 10 K. Do bricks to simulate what you will be doing on race day.

2. Change up your routine with flexibility and strength-training exercises. Work your core and hip areas to take pressure off your feet.

3. Work your cardiovascular system with short, high-intensity workouts 1-2 times a week.

4. Nutrition and adequate sleep for muscle recovery are KEY.

5. It’s essential to stretch after you workout. You want to warm up before activity — like fast walking for 10 minutes, for example — because stretching “cold” is not effective. It’s really the post-workout stretching that has the most impact on recovery, though.

Book an Appointment to Visit NYC Sports Medicine Doctors

Don’t just wait for an injury to book an appointment at The Center for Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine. Doctors Josef Geldwert and Ryan Minara help athletes prepare a proper training regimen for events, as well as prevent injury and re-injury. They can advise athletes on shoe choice, mold custom orthotic shoe inserts, and perform complete biomechanical/gait analysis to help runners identify areas of weakness and hone their skills. These distinguished sports medicine experts are happy to answer any questions you may have.

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If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.