How to train for a marathon, plus the benefits of long-distance running

If it is true that all journeys begin with the first step, then run a long distance can be a pathway to long life and good health.

The Science Direct Journal recently published a report indicating that runners have a 25-40% reduced risk of premature death and live approximately three years longer than non-runners.

Breathe, a health journal, reports that running also increases lung capacity and improves circulation.

Because running is weight-bearing exerciseit also helps build strong bones, improves cardiovascular fitness, and promotes weight loss while helping you maintain a healthy weight.

According to Run Repeat, running regularly can act as an antidepressant that helps improve your mood, helps reduce anxiety and panic attacks, helps regulate blood pressure, improves insulin sensitivity and increases cortisol levels. , which has an impact on the memorization and retention of information. .

Running long distances also requires consistency, commitment which helps to develop a routine, better concentration and healthy habits.

Consult your doctor before embarking on a running program.

How to train for a marathon

Participating in a marathon begins long before a runner is perched on the starting line. It takes weeks, even months of training, sacrifice and self-discipline to prepare for this first step.

Here are some expert tips to prepare you to run your best race:

1. Start early: Whitney Heins, founder of Mother Runners, suggests that if you’re already a runner, start building a “base” of six miles at a time before starting serious training for at least 20 weeks before a scheduled race. If you’re starting from scratch, you should start training at least six to nine months in advance.

2. Free training: Expert Hal Higdon offers a free 18-week program online training plan for beginner runners. His advice includes resting on Mondays and Fridays to allow muscles to regenerate; run slower during training than your actual running pace; walking during races if necessary; cross-training and strength training.

3. Food: Heins says the best diet for marathon training is a balance of “macronutrients,” including fats, carbs, and protein. Avoid processed foods with a daily goal of at least two snacks and three meals made up of these three nutritional groups.

Expert Askur Jeukendrup recommends experimenting with a variety of food options to determine which ones work best for you.

“Increase your carb intake moderately in the days leading up to your run to replenish your glycogen stores,” he says. “Have your breakfast three to four hours before you leave. Avoid excessive fiber, fat or protein; bring a carbohydrate gel or drink to sip within an hour of your departure.

Dr. Carol Mack, a physical therapy doctor who works with runners, warns marathon runners not to eat new or unfamiliar foods before a race.

4. Sweat rate: Calculating your sweat rate – the amount of fluid you need to replace what’s lost during running – is crucial to preventing dehydration. The Gatorade Sports Science Institute offers a sweat rate calculator with worksheets.


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Richard V. Johnson