Health Matters Marathons: Don't Be Afraid to Get Into the Race
By Ashonda Bethea-Ruth
Ever consider running a marathon? When it comes to marathons, many people don't think twice about it. Sure, some may think it is a nice thing to do to support a cause or something that only the athletic people partake in, but rarely do they every consider it.
Marathons can be defined as a long-distance running event that typically is done on a road, and is the minimum of 26.2 miles. For the average person 45 minutes on a treadmill at 6 miles an hour can seem like running a marathon. But if thousands of people can do it, then why can't you? That is a question many ask themselves when considering marathons. However, it is not as simple as putting on a pair of running shoes and a sweat band. Preparing to run a marathon takes training and conditioning, where one needs to take precaution for their health. Before starting a marathon, you must select a realistic plan for yourself. Don't expect to be the first across the line your first time around; many people never even get close to being in the top 500 of a marathon with thousands. It is key to start training where you are now, than where you want to be.
Give yourself a time limit to train, 20 weeks is a standard for most people starting out. Make sure you take note of any factors that might come about during the marathon. Do you have any injuries; are you prone to injuries, what has been my activity habit for the past 6-8 months? These types of questions can help you determine where you are now, and how to plan your training. It is always advised that you consult your physician before you do anything drastic with your body, they can recommend things to fit you specifically.
Training for marathons requires that you exercise 5-6 times a week. This will significantly improve your cardiovascular health, and boost your calorie burn, helping you to lose any unwanted weight. A bonus is that you get to enjoy carbs! Are you sick of hearing about how carbs are so bad for you? When you run long distances, carbohydrates become your best friends. They give you the energy you need to keep running for an hours at a time. Enjoy that pasta dinner while everyone else is ordering burgers without the bun!
But it is also important to remember there are many health risks with running marathons. If you don't not train properly, and or know when you have reached your limit, you are at risk for passing out due to many factors such as dehydration, and exhaustion to name a few. If however this does happen, marathons are equipped with staff and personal to assist you in getting to the aid you need.
Whatever the reason may be, just remember to do your research, take it slow, and go as far as you, not anyone else, can. Marathons are not for everyone, but in just taking the steps toward running a marathon, a person can lead themselves to a healthier life.