Miranda Hanson provides an insight into the challenges and tips when preparing for a marathon.
Perhaps the most appealing thing about a marathon is the fact that everybody can take part in it and compete, not only professional athletes. Preparing for and running a marathon is on the bucket list of many people. This is a once in a lifetime experience that you can enjoy with your entire family because participation is a reward in itself.
However, running a full marathon or even a half marathon is a huge challenge for your body, so you need to prepare accordingly. You can find a lot of information online, but there are also tips that no one will tell you.
Covering the distance
You probably already know that a marathon is 42 kilometres (roughly 26 miles) long. This is the distance a Greek soldier Philippides ran from the field of Marathon to Athens to deliver news of a glorious Greek victory at the Battle of Marathon against the Persian invasion. This event took place in 490 B.C., and ever since that event, the marathon has been an Olympic discipline.
Modern athletes now cover this distance in a little more than two hours, but it takes much more for amateurs to complete a marathon. The average runner stays on track for at least 4 hours before he or she accomplishes the marathon challenge. It is always useful to know what you have ahead of you if you decide to take up this challenge, both in terms of distance and time.
Preparing for the next big marathon
Rookies to endurance running will spend more time choosing which marathon to run than they spend time preparing for it. On average, it takes 16 weeks to prepare for a marathon properly, so the sooner you start, the better. In terms of distance, you are going to have to run anywhere from 20 to 60 kilometres a week.
The last preparations are perhaps the most important segment, as mental strength is crucial when it comes to completing a marathon. Training your willpower starts from the moment you decide to take part in a marathon because you will need to possess nerves of steel to last to the end.
Choosing a marathon
Only once you have started preparing for a marathon, you can choose the exact one you will participate in. In most cases, people train for a marathon in their hometown, as all major world cities have their annual marathons.
The Majors are the series of six of the most renowned world marathons that attract thousands of participants each year. If we are to judge by the data provided from the Copenhagen marathon that had been organized since 1980, the marathon boom may be reversing.
Namely, there has been a drop in the number of young participants in recent years and an increase in the older age groups that are signing up for the marathon. In the 50 to 70 age group, there has been an increase of nearly 60% in the last five years. It is proof that age is not a limiting factor in this running discipline.
The gear you will require
Unlike other sports, the marathon is rewarding in the sense that you do not need to invest much in gear. You will get a number at the check-in counter at the start line, but the rest of the equipment is up to you to choose. Perhaps the most important single item of clothing is sneakers. They need to be extra comfortable because they will carry you to the finish line.
As far as the shorts and the T-shirt are concerned, use fabrics that will allow your skin to breathe. Perspiration and rehydration are two actions that you need to manage. A marathon is a serious challenge to your health, as deaths, unfortunately, do happen.
Apart from drinking enough water during the marathon, you should also eat some food. There are sports drinks and gels that you can intake while running without the need to stop and chew them. After the marathon is over, wait at least half an hour before you eat a meal loaded with proteins and carbs to restore energy.
As you have seen from our tips, running a marathon is essentially not too hard under the condition you prepare well. From the intensive training session, across the gear and food you eat, all the way to building mental strength, a marathon will present a real challenge for you. Remember that it is not an impossible one.
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About the Author
Miranda Hanson is a passionate staff writer at Runner Click. She enjoys researching and incorporating interesting facts and statistics to create compelling stories. Most of her writing is in fitness, health, sports, beauty, and wellness. When she is not writing, she enjoys spending time outdoors camping, fishing, and enjoying nature's beauty.