You Can Do It!
We’ve all marveled at the endurance, stamina, and sheer will of marathon runners. It not only takes an elite level of conditioning but the mental wherewithal to persevere and challenge one’s self to exceed limitations and expectations for running like a marathoner. It’s an adrenaline rush to be sure but it is not without its sacrifices and there are no shortcuts if running 26.2 miles is the end game.
Those who are just beginning to run can get winded very easily, particularly if there are underlying medical conditions to consider. But like anything else, we must crawl before we can walk, and walk before we can run. It is not easy but it can be addictive and it’s one habit that no one will ever ask you to break. Your body will thank you for it and your mind will too because the endorphins spawned by running on a regular basis will reduce the pain and increase your mental well-being.
So, where does one start? That would depend on your level of conditioning and a doctor’s advice as to what he or she would recommend. If you are in decent health and in pretty good shape then the early stages of your training will be a bit more arduous than if you have limitations posed by physical and medical restrictions.
But one thing you should know is that marathon runners did not suddenly wake up one day and decide to run hours on end without taking a breather. It’s a long process and patience is most definitely a virtue. So, if you are preparing to run long distances then start out at an easy pace and choose a distance that you can handle without being breathless when you are through.
The early stages of marathon training must be replete with short, easily attainable goals. Slowly you can begin to extend your training but the most important part of any training is to make certain you set reasonable objectives at each interval of training. Now that we’ve talked about getting our motor started, let’s hear from those who are among the best in the business of marathon running.
Tips from the Professionals
Due to the global pandemic, we have seen marathons canceled all over the world while others allowed elite runners only on a particular course while allowing other entrants to compete remotely. What some might not realize is that even the sportsbook have a vested interest in these long-distance events as virtual races have odds posted at some of the top sportsbooks and wagering on them has grown increasingly popular.
While the mechanics of running long distances is one of the most important aspects of being a marathoner, there are several facets to training like conditioning, nutrition, stretching, and healing. Below are some tips from the people that should know.
Stephanie Pezzullo – ZAP Fitness, former Penn State soccer player and professional runner: “I like to have smaller meals throughout the day to keep my energy levels steady, and I like to make sure I’m getting in calories immediately following a run.”
“Don’t expect too much too soon, just make sure you aren’t building up mileage too quickly, and don’t be afraid to take a step back if you are tired or sore. Because Running like a marathoner is so demanding on your body you have to have easy days in between the hard days.”
Mary Ballinger – ZAP Fitness, professional runner: “Making sure I’m eating enough and drinking enough before a race is important. I make sure I get in a solid dinner the night before the race. If I’m racing at 5 pm I’ll have an enormous breakfast and then a snack, like a power bar, around like 300 calories a few hours before the race. And even though I’m nervous and sometimes don’t want to eat, I know that it is important to get those calories in.”
Pete Rea – Head coach of ZAP Fitness and former elite athlete: “Make sure you are not just racing marathons. To become a better marathoner, you’ve got to work on economy and power and races like 3k and 5k which seem somewhat foreign to road runners. Have sequences where you run shorter races too.”