Runner's World has teamed up with runDisney to share some insights for the upcoming 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend. This week tips include general guidelines for staying healthy, fighting off winter illnesses and the importance of sunscreen and ice baths.

  1. Even if it seems cloudy outside, don't neglect to wear sunscreen. Use a product that has an SPF of at least 30 that is labeled "broad spectrum" and protects against UVA and UVB rays, the two most damaging forms of ultraviolet light. Rub on the product at least 20 minutes before you go out, and reapply every two hours while you’re out—even if it’s a sweat-proof formula.

  2. If you want to fend off sniffles and sneezes, be sure to get your zzz's. Studies have shown that runners who sleep an average of less than seven hours a night are more likely to get sick than those who average eight hours or more. Hormones that boost immunity are released during sleep. This is especially important when you're stepping up training, as that can take a toll on the immune system.

  3. Ice baths can reduce soreness and inflammation after a long run. Cold therapy constricts blood vessels, which reduces swelling and inflammation, so you feel better faster. Here's how to take an ice bath: Fill a tub with two to three bags of crushed ice. Add enough water so that you will be covered nearly to the waist when you sit in the tub. To reduce your discomfort, before getting in the tub, put on a warm hat and jacket. You might even use neoprene booties, or drink some hot tea while you're in there. It's a good idea to have some entertaining reading materials while you're in there. You should stay in the bath from 10 to 20 minutes.

Join us next week when Runner’s World shares some fun facts about the 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World® Marathon course and tips and strategy for Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge.