Marathons: Help a Cause and Improve Your Fitness!
It’s that time of year when the flowers are starting to come out, the weather is warming up, and we start to see advertisements for various marathons and runs being held, usually in support of an important cause. If you’ve never considered training for a marathon, now might be a great time to see if this sport is for you. It has a built in goal, will improve your level of fitness, and depending on which marathon you’re training for, can help out a cause that is near and dear to your heart.
There are marathons for all different distances and levels of difficulty. Oftentimes, people who are advanced athletes can run in a marathon with people who are just beginners with no issues. It’s all about the individual performance and goal setting, and may not actually be a competition against other participants at all. The other great thing about marathon running is that it is appropriate for any age participant, from kids and teens to seniors. In fact, the oldest women to compete in a marathon was 92 years young! Getting ready for running a marathon takes some training, knowledge and time, but there’s nothing that beats that feeling of accomplishment one you cross the finish line, so take a look at some of these performance enhancing tips that will have you in top for and ready to run.
Many people who have never run in a marathon before may be concerned about stamina for the race and potential injuries. Preparation beforehand is the key to avoiding these issues. First, in order to increase stamina, you need to set out on an appropriate training schedule. In order to prepare for the race of your choice, first determine how much time you have until you will run, and this will help you set your schedule. When people think about marathons, they often think that they only need to run, jog (or walk) to prepare, but there’s more to it than that. Stretching properly before each training session, plus spending time on strength training, yoga, Pilates, and lifting weights will help you move toward your peak condition. Also varying the speed and length of your runs will be very helpful. Easy, short runs mixed with slow long distance jogs, plus proper rest and recovery days in between will help prepare your body without overloading it.
In order to run a safe race, there are several important things to remember. Make sure you stretch thoroughly on the day of the race. Wear the proper running shoes, and make sure they fit well beforehand to avoid any blisters or pinched toes. Have plenty of water on hand before, during and after the race. Make sure you spend enough time cooling down by walking after the race is over to avoid any problems. Finally, if you do happen to injure yourself during training or during the race, remember RICE. This stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation, and will have you on the road to recovery in no time.
Preparing for and completing a marathon has so many benefits to your health and to the various causes you choose to support with your running. Completing a great training session or race will give you that “runner’s high” that will leave you wanting to go further the next time. You can improve your overall fitness level and achieve a longer, leaner, more toned look, lose weight, and increase your stamina, all during your training period. It’s a great fitness activity to undertake as a family or with a group of friends. You can all run to benefit the cause that is most important you the group, or pick individual marathons for each member and do good for many organizations! No matter what your reason is for wanting to participate in a marathon, or what your fitness level is when you start preparing, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish!