Marathon Runner Train For The Big Day With These Tips
Last year, more than a half of a million athletes laced up their runners to compete in one of the many 26.2 mile marathons held throughout the world. Thousands more competed in the 13.1 mile distance events known as half-marathons.
You might wonder how marathons originated, and how they came to decide upon 26.2 miles as the distance for such a run. Historians have determined that marathons came into being when, in 490 B.C., a young Greek soldier named Pheidippides ran from the battlefield of Marathon, Greece to Athens to let the powers that be know of their victory over Persia. The trek was approximately 25 miles. The story goes that, once the soldier delivered his news, he collapsed and died.
On April 10, 1896, 25 runners lined up to run from the Marathon bridge to the Athens stadium where the first Olympics were to be held to honor the sacrifice made by the soldier. The first marathon was 24.85 miles. It wasn’t until 1924, at the Paris Olympics, that the distance for marathon athletes officially became the 26.2 mile marathon distance we know today.
What motivates people to run marathons?
Those who don’t run in such events may simply wonder why a person would put their body through such a strenuous activity. In turns out, that marathons provide runners with an extraordinary mental and physical challenge. It boosts self-confidence, promotes health and fitness, and provides runners with an opportunity to create new friendships bonded through the experience.
How to run a marathon
With the reasons people run marathons resolved, the question then becomes how people from all ages and all walks of life become a marathon runner. Well, the experts and athletes alike say it all boils down to implementing a marathon or half-marathon training plan.
If you’re wondering exactly what a marathon training plan entails, the Nike Running Club offers training plans for a variety of events including the marathon, half-marathon, 15K, 10K, and 5K.
The marathon training plan is a 20-week marathon guide designed to essentially take a person from couch potato status to marathon runner with concise goals that will raise their fitness and endurance levels. The guide provides insight into pacing, as well.
The half-marathon training plan accomplishes similar goals within a 14-week period.
Before participating in running events, Nike also recommends that aspiring marathon runners cross-train. For example, they suggest strength training to build up the core, arms and legs, promoting stamina. They also suggest incorporating yoga into your workout to help with flexibility, posture, and breathing.
There are ways to naturally boost your energy and sustain it through your day that don’t come with a caffeine crash.
Nutrition and the marathon runner
Like high-performance engines being tuned and prepped for a big race, our bodies need to be prepped for running events as well. So, in addition to building up our endurance, stamina and strength, we also need to be eating the right foods.
According to registered dietitian nutritionist, Allegra Burton, RD, MPH, an endurance athlete needs to eat a diet that is “high in carbohydrates, moderate in protein, and low in fat.”
Healthy carbohydrates should make up about 60 to 70 percent of your caloric intake. These, will consist of natural whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. Avoid the highly processed simple carbohydrates found in white rice, pastas, and breads.
Carbohydrates are stored as Glycogen in our bodies to be used as fuel. When those stores are depleted, you’ll experience fatigue.
To speed up recovery and muscle growth, a runner’s daily caloric intake should consist of 12 to 15 percent protein. Protein can be found in nuts, beans, lean meats, poultry, eggs, fish, and dairy products.
Burton says that “... consuming too much protein can increase the body’s water requirement and may contribute to dehydration.” Therefore too much protein in one’s diet can leave an endurance athlete feeling sluggish.
Fat, less than 30 percent, will fill in the remainder of your daily caloric intake, with less than 10 percent of that fat being saturated. High fat foods can be avocados, nuts, chocolate, and ice cream.
Kickstart your metabolism into high gear
Codeage Exogenous Ketones capsules come in the form of BHB salts (beta-hydroxybutyric acid, also known as beta hydroxybutyrate). These BHBs are immediate sources of usable energy for your body. BHBs can be added to the ketones your body produces naturally through fasting, a ketogenic diet or independently.
They are beta-hydroxybutyric acid allied to mineral salts that provide your body with ready to use ketones. They may be a way to increase your ketone levels which may provide health benefits beyond its source of energy.
There are two basic ways your body can fuel itself. The most well-known is glucose. When you eat certain foods, your body will turn the food into glucose and release this in your blood where it can go to power up your different systems including your muscles, your organs and your brain.
Ketones are the other primary way you can fuel your systems. They are typically produced by the liver from fatty acids from the fat you eat or from the fat you store in your fat cells. While we often think of glucose as the primary fuel for our body, ketones appear to be just as if not more efficient in giving us energy and in particular our brains.
The primary way for us to make use of ketones is to fast (ingest no food at all and have only water, tea, coffee and electrolytes). This forces our body to use its fat reserves to create ketones to give energy to our systems. The other way is to go on a ketogenic diet, a diet low in carbohydrates and moderate in protein which does not bring in sufficient glucose to fuel your systems on glucose. Just as a fast, the ketogenic diet forces your body to burn fat as fuel. B
Finally, you may be wondering just how long you can expect it to take you to complete a marathon. While just getting over the finish line might be a reasonable goal for many, the fastest male marathoner in the world, Kenya’s own Eliud Kipchoge, ran a full marathon in a blazing 2:01:39 in 2018. However, the average length of time it takes to complete a marathon is about four hours.
Running a marathon is an adventure. It’s a competitive challenge that you can be proud of. And, regardless of your current fitness level, with the proper diet and training, you can proudly compete in one of the many running events held throughout the country, or even the world.