Benefits and keys to preparing well a marathon
Our commitment to our clients’ good health is one of our priorities. We want to begin the year with the keys to leading a healthy life.
Marathons, like other sports such as triathlons or steeplechase races, have experienced exponential growth over the last 10 years. We present you the benefits and keys to preparing well a marathon.
Why have they become a fashionable sport?:
- The trend for self-improvement that currently exists in connection with physical activity. It makes us constantly think about setting new challenges as a way of personal satisfaction and causes us to start taking part in different types of sports. In addition, although marathons are 42,195 metres in length, in parallel there are usually races with a shorter distance of 5, 10 and 21 km (half marathon) that accommodate many runners (amateurs) and indirectly stimulate the idea of self-improvement of the participants to reach the marathon.
- The ease of taking part: a pair of decent trainers and a desire to run are the only prior requirements to take part in a marathon or cross-country races.
- Many marathons are related to raising money for various charities across the world (cancer, rare diseases, etc.) and this motivates people who identify with these causes to help by taking part.
- Many of the participants (mainly amateurs) take advantage of marathons in different cities around the world to combine sport with travel. Marathons such as those in New York, Zurich, Barcelona and Tokyo are a lure in this regard.
Benefits of marathons
Marathons are the type of exercise that is colloquially known as cardiovascular activity and all studies show that this type of physical exercise has many positive health benefits. The most important benefits found in people who regularly take part in physical activities are reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, osteoporosis and diabetes.
Chronic diseases are directly linked to obesity. We can control and reduce this disease through physical activity since those who take part in it have adequate physical fitness levels, their cardiovascular system indirectly functions more effectively and their body is more prepared to fight against diseases.
“One does not become a marathon runner from one day to the next”
What to do to prepare well
However, to achieve these benefits, it is important to be well prepared and consider several factors.
The risk, if we don’t, is significant as it can compromise health, not only in terms of injuries, wounds, dehydration or digestive problems during the race but also at the cardiovascular level (due to inadequate preparation or prior medical checks), osteoarticular level, etc.
- Conducting a stress test: Regardless of whether the athlete is an amateur or professional, conducting this test is aimed at knowing how to adapt to the effort, especially at the cardiovascular level. That is, how their heartbeat, blood pressure and changes in the electrocardiogram patterns respond to the demands of the effort their body is subjected to. Hence the importance of doing it before a demanding test such as a marathon.
- Respecting the evolution of the distance to run: Before tackling a marathon, you must have gone through 10 km races and half marathons (21 km) before deciding to face the 42 km, and you should not attempt to achieve this in the same year. Respect your body’s times.
- Relying upon the oversight of a personal trainer: Don’t be overly influenced by your friends’ advice and training activities because each person’s body is unique and adapts differently to physical exercise; therefore, look for a professional to oversee and personalise your workouts.
- Also, train your strength: Although marathons are an eminent resistance discipline, do not forget that strength work is essential to withstand long-term efforts.
Taking into account environmental factors
Sometimes, we ignore the climate, the time of year and the unique characteristics of marathons without keeping in mind that the environmental characteristics of the city in which we are going to train and the city in which we are running can be completely different. Therefore, it is not the same to do the New York marathon (November) as the Barcelona marathon (March) or the Apollo Bay marathon (May, Australia) since the climate is completely different.
To finish, here is a calendar of the most prestigious marathons that have been held or will be held in 2019. Looking ahead, we now know how to prepare ourselves better.