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Beginners Guide to Marathon Running for All

by Ethan more
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Accomplishing a marathon is no small feat. Even with months of training, one can become nervous and overwhelmed on the day of the race. Luckily anyone can employ the simple race-day running strategies below to conquer fear and the 26.2 miles of the race.

The Morning of a Marathon

Before the marathon event starts, prepare for the day by eating a healthy breakfast and drinking plenty of water. Breakfast should be light and satisfying. A banana, bowl of oatmeal or a granola bar can all serve as good race-day breakfasts. Also drink lots of water before the race so that you start the day hydrated and ready to run.

Carefully plan race-day clothes as well. Breathable and flexible fabrics work best as they provide comfort during a long workout. Skin can chafe due to clothing rubbing repetitively against the body, so prevent friction by purchasing seamless sports bras, shorts and tops. Run prior to the race in the clothing to make sure it stays comfortable in different conditions.

Do not leave for the race without bringing race bibs and tracking tags. Needs, such as sun block or gloves, also could arise due to weather, so grab those items before leaving the house. Also consider taking band-aids, extra hair bands and a change of clothes for after the race.

The Marathon Starting Line

To start the race, find the starting blocks or corrals. These blocks are organized by running speed. Faster runners stand closer to the starting line, while slower runners and walkers stand further from the starting line. Because thousands of people gather in each block, show up early to find the your spot.

While waiting in the block, use the time to stretch and warm up for the race. Due to the large amount of participants, slower blocks will not begin running when the race officially starts. They wait for the first blocks of runners to start moving before they go. This wait will not affect the marathon results though because each racer’s time starts from the moment he crosses the starting line.

Running the Marathon

Once the marathon starts, novices may run faster than normal due to the excitement of the race. Consciously think about slowing down in order to make it through the entire 26.2 miles. Use the first mile of the race to find a steady and comfortable pace that can be maintained for the entire marathon.

Also take advantage of beverages that are offered throughout the course of the race. Volunteers usually offer water and sports drinks. Drink some fluids at every stop. Dehydration occurs quickly, before many realize they need fluids. Lack of fluids can lead to weakness, cramps and even diarrhea. Drink regularly throughout the race to prevent these problems from arising.

After Running a Marathon

At the finish line, volunteers will collect tracking tags. Afterward, walk for a while to cool down from the run. Also immediately drink water to prevent dehydration. If you notice dehydration, muscle cramps or cuts and blisters, see a medic who should be stationed in the post-race area.

Most marathon organizers provide a post-race celebration located at the end of the course. Because of the large crowds at marathons, designate a post-race meeting place for friends and family. Once you reconnect with friends, take a moment to stretch as if you have received a bCasino bonus surprisingly and unexpectedly. Then either stay and enjoy the post-race celebration or head for home.

Preparing for Every Part of a Marathon

A marathon is hard work. With some detailed planning and running strategies, beginner runners can make the 26.2 miles a little more enjoyable. Remember to eat right, dress appropriately, keep a comfortable pace and stay hydrated to make a first marathon a successful one.

What is a Good Diet for Marathon Training

Long distance runners training for a marathon require a balanced diet of carbohydrate, protein and fat (the macronutrients). Good nutrition is needed to get through the gruelling 26.2 miles of a marathon, and helps to ensure the race is finished without suffering any ill effects.

Carbohydrates and Marathon Training

Carbohydrates should make up 50-65% of the diet when training for a marathon in order to maintain energy levels. If a marathon runner does not consume enough carbohydrates, he or she may suffer from hypoglycaemia (a very low level of sugar in the blood) during training, or worse still, during the race.

Hypoglycaemia has some unpleasant (and sometimes fairly alarming) symptoms, including headaches, light-headedness, difficulty concentrating, confusion, heavy legs, wobbliness and shaking, dire fatigue and fainting.

Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of energy for high intensity sports such as marathon running. This is because carbohydrate stores can be readily converted to energy when fuel is needed, whereas the conversion of fat to energy takes longer. Carbohydrates are stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles. When running, glycogen is converted into glucose and released into the blood, and the blood transports it to the working muscles that need energy.

The best sources of carbohydrates are known as complex, or starchy carbohydrates, which release energy steadily and maintain stable blood sugar levels. Some examples of complex carbohydrates include pasta, potatoes, rice, wholegrain breads and cereals, oats, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables.

The Importance of Protein and Fat in the Diet

Protein is important for rebuilding and repairing muscle tissue, and should make up 20-25% of the diet. Good sources of protein include fish, lean meat, skinless chicken, eggs, low fat dairy products, beans, pulses, nuts, seeds, tofu and other soya products, and various meat substitutes.

Fats should comprise 15-25% of total calories in the diet. Some important functions of fats include the absorption of fat soluble vitamins, joint lubrication, and energy production. The healthiest fats are unsaturated fats, good sources of which include oily fish, nuts, seeds, avocados and many cooking oils (including olive and sunflower).

Saturated fats occur in red meat, full fat animal products and hydrogenated vegetable oils, and should be eaten sparingly because they contribute to high cholesterol levels.

Fluid Intake for Long Distance Running

When training for a marathon, good hydration is essential. It is necessary to drink more than the recommended 6-8 glasses of water each day because more fluid than usual is lost via sweat and breathing during running.

Dehydration leads to a decrease in blood volume, causing the heart to beat faster in order to get an adequate supply of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and remove waste products. Symptoms of dehydration include headaches, cramps, dizziness, fatigue, exhaustion, and a reduction in performance.

Isotonic sports drinks are recommended in addition to water. These replace electrolytes lost in sweat, such as sodium and potassium, which help the muscle cells to function efficiently. Sports drinks also provide energy in the form of glucose. It is important to take regular sips during a long distance run, and to top up fluid (and carbohydrate) levels after each training session.

Long distance runners who want to give their best performance at competition level should not underestimate the importance of good nutrition during their marathon training.

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