Beginner’s Guide to Running a Marathon

Alex LakhanpalIt’s no secret, running is a physical activity that yields numerous benefits to the mind and body. From strengthening your lungs and cardiovascular system, to controlling your weight to strengthening your immune system to regulating your overall mental health – running is a great element to incorporate into your lifestyle.

If It’s Not Broken, Why Fix It?

If running is so wonderful on its own, then one might wonder what the point is of running in a marathon. Marathon running can be dangerous when it comes to aggravating otherwise minor injuries. It’s also known for taking a toll on the knees and other joints due to the constant repetitive motion and impact. Also, there is always the potential for dehydration and painful recovery after the race. With all of that in mind, running a marathon may seem like an ill advised idea. However, there are a number of benefits to running a marathon, and there are a few key ways to prepare for a marathon.

The Benefits of Marathon Running

While marathon running bears all of the expected benefits that you would also find just from running, there are a few additions to the list as well. An article from The Wall Street Journal claims that there are long-term health benefits from competing in marathons over time. Benefits from long-distance running include a lowered risk of eye and prostate disorders and significant improvements in one’s cardiovascular health. It is believed that these benefits are due to the training that competitive marathoners undergo regularly. In this case it seems as though the marathon is the signifier of a particular type of healthy lifestyle that leads to all of these long-term benefits.

How to Get Started and Stick With It

Although it’s fairly easy to come up with a workout regiment to train for your first marathon, the hardest parts usually involve sticking with the plan, and taking care of your body for such a sustained amount of time beforehand. However, there are certain things to keep in mind and strive for when you have decided that you want to participate in a marathon. First and foremost, have a reason for running. This may not seem like a necessity, but in those moments when you want to quit, you need to be able to focus on a reason that will convince you to continue on. So come up with a good one! Another thing to keep in mind is that you should only compare yourself to you. When it comes to your running times, where you are in the race, how you are feeling or how you look, use your past runs and trainings as a measuing stick…never look to others for this.  And finally, keep it fun. There’s no reason to get too intense about running.