Often times, you’ll come across various broadcasts or news snippets about long-distance runners participating in marathon events. But have you ever wondered why are marathons have become so popular? What is a marathon’s ideal distance? Let’s cover all the grounds of a marathon.

Marathons are long-distance races, with a fixed minimum distance, that can be running-based, walking-based, or a subtle mixture of both. The concept of a marathon was born in the memory of a Greek soldier Pheidippides, who ran approximately 26 miles from the Battle of Marathon to Athens, to report the victory of his country in the war. Hence, the official minimum distance of a marathon is fixed at 26 miles.

The conception of a marathon came to fruition with the idea of pushing a runner’s limits and testing their endurance levels. And soon, marathon training became a way for runners and athletes to overcome their personal challenges and elevating their performance by testing their limits.

Marathons -Let’s Talk Figures

Marathon events have evolved over time, and have been classified into several categories. The two of the most popular categories for marathons are:

  1. Half Marathons: As the name suggests, these marathon events have a fixed distance of 13 miles, which is half the distance of a marathon. Half marathons are one of the more popular forms of a marathon, which are participated in abundantly by the runners, who are usually beginners.
  2. Ultra Marathons: These marathon events is where one can truly test their limits. These are usually 30 miles in distance, with events even having larger distances of up to 100 miles! Ultra marathons require a rigorous training regime and willpower to complete for runners.

Training for Marathons

Holistic marathon training covers these four building blocks:

  1. Base mileage: Build your weekly base mileage over time, running three-to-five times per week.
  2. Long mile run: Do a long run every 8–10 days, so your body can adjust slowly to long distances and the mobility changes.
  3. Speed: Practice periodic speed running to increase your cardio capacity.
  4. Rest and recovery: Adequate rest helps prevent injuries and mental burnout of the body.

Along with these building blocks, marathon training also comprises of building up your confidence and the elevating the will to run the distance To enhance your performance, you must remember to carefully build the road-map of marathons by using these four building blocks.

Here are some more tips that can help you in performing exceptionally in a marathon.

Before the Race

  1. Hydrate yourself well for several days leading up to the marathon. Drink 8-10 glasses of water before race day.
  2. Eat a simple, zero-fat, high-carbohydrate breakfast at least 2 hours before the start of the race. Bagels, oatmeal, protein bars, and citrus fruits all work well.

During the Race

  1. Build momentum as you start and maintain a steady speed. Keep track of your speed and don’t let the adrenaline rush come in early, as it will come in handy during the last 4-5 miles of the race.
  2. Analyse drinking patterns. Either practice drinking in small amounts at regular intervals while running, or just stop for a drink break periodically. Drinking at regular intervals is more advised.

Conclusion

Now that you have a deeper understanding of marathons, you can start your training based on the aforementioned points. As a runner, there is no better way to test your limits and endurance than a marathon. Make an encouraging playlist, put on your shoes, and start training for your next marathon.

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