Marathon Distance Running
One of the antic legends is about the Pheidippides, a Greek messenger. He participated in a battle against the Persians on the Marathon field, about 40 kilometers away from the Athens.
When Greeks won, and since there were no mobile phones at that time, he was chosen to bring a news to the people of Athens, which were impatiently waiting for the news. So, he ran 40 kilometers from the Marathon field to Athens, passed the news and then passed away.
More than two thousand years later, in 1896, first modern Olympic games took place in Athens. Organizers were looking for some event that will recall the glory of the ancient Greece.
Someone remembered the story of the Pheidippides and, although historians are not sure is it accurate or just a myth, it inspired them for the marathon race.
The first marathon was on the original path between Marathon field and Athens. First races had no unique distance. It varies, but it was always around 42 kilometers. In 1921, the marathon distance was uniformed at 42.195 kilometers. Since the first marathon, its popularity continues to increase.
In the beginning, women were not allowed to run a marathon since it was considered to be too hard for their fragile constitution. Some women didn’t buy it and started to train. Slowly they started to join the races. Today, women are almost as often in races as men, and their results are, compared to the results in other athletic disciplines, closest to those by men.
Some experts say it is so because women are more durable than men. If you think you are too young or too old for a marathon, you should know that the youngest person that finished the marathon was three, and the oldest was hundred years old.
However, running a marathon is not a piece of cake, and it requires a serious training before you try it. Before you start preparing for a marathon, since training is exhausting, you must visit your doctor and check your health. Otherwise, you may do a serious harm to your body. Stretch every day, especially before the training to avoid injuries and prepare your body for making vigorous efforts.
If you never run before, don’t expect to run a marathon after two months training. You should be running at least one year before your first marathon. When you start preparing, apply for a certain marathon and create a working schedule with a smaller goal that will lead to the day of the race. Also, you may start with shorter races, like 5K or half marathon before the real event. Before you run the marathon, try to walk it first.
Few words about the food. During the marathon training, make sure to eat at least 2000 to 2500 calories daily. Most of those calories should come from the carbohydrates and unsaturated fats. Take multivitamin supplements and plenty of calcium and iron. Don’t forget to stay hydrated during the training and run. There are many drinks you may drink, but probably the best choice is an energy drink that will replace the electrolytes you lose by sweating.
Few days before the race don’t overdrive with the training. It should be of the smaller intensity, or you will come to the race tired. When it comes to the food, eat a lot, and mostly carbohydrates. On the day of the race eat, but not too much. During the race, you may eat some energy booster like a banana or energy bar, but don’t overdrive. Staying hydrated is much more important. If you run on a sunny day, make sure to protect yourself from the sun.
It is not easy to run and finish a marathon. It requires a lot of training, efforts and will. However, the result is priceless. After all, how many people you know which may brag they run a marathon?