In 1896, the Olympic long-distance race was named the ‘Marathon’, after which the idea was taken from the story of Pheidippides. Since then, the popularity of the marathon has increased. By 2018, 1,298,725 runners have rejoiced after completing the marathon.
Marathon running started as a professional job, then developed into a sport, and finally became a culture whose euphoria can be enjoyed by almost everyone. If you decide to give this youthful sport a try, we’re here to support and help with a few tips.
Let’s start your own marathon ride!
Record the Distance
Just go ahead, running 42.2 kilometres without stopping sounds crazy! Who wants to torture themselves by running long distances? In fact, they can just choose to curl up in bed or watch a movie instead.
Everyone has a different answer. Starting from ‘I want to run because my friends do it too’, ‘I want to run a marathon to enjoy the atmosphere’, ‘I want to run for charity, and increase my sense of care for others’, to the simplest’ I want to run, because I can’. You also must have personal reasons before joining a marathon event.
Now that you can determine what running a marathon means to yourself, we can move on to the next, easier part: training. We recommend making preparation for this marathon an enjoyable journey. Running is like a party which will be even more festive if done with friends, both in real life and in the digital world. You can join the running enthusiasts or make virtual friends in popular apps that monitor every progress together. Personal motivation and enthusiasm from the community can help you cope with tiring days.
We recommend you to start running and aim to achieve each target distances of 5 kilometres, then 10 kilometres, the half marathon of 21.1 kilometres, until finally, you are confident enough to run up to a full marathon of 42.2 kilometres. Follow the journey and move in the right direction every day. In regards to the time it takes to prepare and reach the target, it all depends on your current fitness level.
Diet for Marathons
In 2019, a world record was broken by a British citizen named Nick Butter for completing 196 marathons in 196 countries. He started the challenge in Canada in January 2018 and ended it in Greece in November 2019. He did it to raise awareness about prostate cancer. Yes, you read that right. Nick Butter ran a marathon in every country in the world in less than 2 years!
Okay, these facts about Nick Butter are great. But, what does this have to do with the marathon diet?
Running a marathon does not require a special diet. You can follow a variety of balanced healthy diets to prepare yourself before participating in this running event. Just look at the marathon event held in New York in 2017 which was attended by representatives from 139 countries who came from different cultures. That means there isn’t one ideal diet that fits everyone when it comes to marathon preparation.
However, we suggest a variety of food choices that can help you during your training. We can take the example of bananas which are suitable for snacks before and after training. Besides, there are also sweet potatoes that contain lots of carbohydrates, vitamin A, vitamin C, as well as potassium, manganese and copper which are very important in healthy muscle function. And, don’t forget walnuts, a source of plant-based protein-rich in fibre, vitamin B and antioxidants, such as Vitamin E, Omega-3 fatty acids and anti-inflammatory nutrients for bone health.
Oh yes, another important part of marathon preparation is meeting your body’s needs for fluids. You should always drink lots of water to keep yourself hydrated. Coconut water is the best source for replenishing lost electrolytes.
Equipment for the Marathon
Long-distance running does not require expensive equipment unlike other sports, but you need to pay attention to special equipment that can make the body comfortable when running. If you ignore the conditions for proper sportswear, it can result in unwanted friction until the nipples bleed!
Don’t worry! We’re here to provide advice to make your marathon experience better. Bloody nipples are quite common among male runners. The causes include, very hot, wet or cold weather. However, this can be prevented by some basic techniques such as applying petroleum jelly to the nipple area before running.
Some running experts and coaches agree that the best way is to get rid of clothes that are 100 percent cotton. They suggested that a suitable fabric for running is polyester. However, based on recent research, polyester T-shirts give off an unpleasant odour compared to natural fabrics.
Meanwhile, the environmental organization Greenpeace issued a research report highlighting the health risks of various chemicals in sportswear. The polyfluorinated dyes, solvents, and chemicals that make these synthetic garments waterproof, oil and satin can cause conditions as serious as prostate cancer. So, what should we do?
The solution is as easy as choosing semi-synthetic fibres or natural, skin-friendly fabrics. For example, the bamboo cloth is natural, has light properties, moisture resistance, and protects the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays while walking outdoors. This bamboo sportswear is gaining popularity among runners and athletes in other sports too. You can also get bamboo clothes that are perfect for preparing the next marathon event in HALLXH. When you find the right clothes, don’t forget to prepare running shoes that can support your ankles so you can avoid unwanted injuries.
“Of all the races, there is no better stage for heroic (action) than a marathon.” ~ George Sheehan, athlete and writer
After you’ve done all your preparation for the marathon, put on your shoes and run! Free yourself from limitations. Don’t believe when other people say that you are too old, too slow, and not fit enough for the marathon. It is never too late! Just so you know, a 96-year-old Jonathon Mendes and 92-year-old Gladys Burrill are the oldest man and woman to complete the 42.2-kilometre full marathon.
Today, running the marathon is a big event. You run with hundreds or even thousands of people who fight for the spirit of humanity. You can only feel the passion, victory, and unity after undergoing a marathon and crossing the finish line. Perhaps Pheidippides’ death was not in vain. The message he carried throughout his running time is to unite humanity, which manifests in modern marathon events around the world.