A marathon with its magical length of 42.195 kilometres is the ultimate challenge for many hobby athletes. The fascination and distance is manageable with an appropriate preparation.
If we accord credibility to the Greek historian Herodot, the envoy Pheidippides covered the distance of about 40 kilometres from Marathon to Athens in order to declare the victory of the Greece over Persia in 490 BC.
The obligatory distance of 42.195 kilometres has been run for the first time at the Olympic Games in London in 1908; since 1921 it is officially recognised.
In the early years of the marathon run, around 1900, the fastest men needed a little less than three hours, meanwhile the world record amounts 2:03:23 hours. Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich established the record in Berlin 2013.
Women are only officially allowed to dispute the marathon competitions since the 1960s. The current world record has been established by the Brit Paula Radcliffe in London 2003. She ran the route in 2:15:25 hours.
The most popular marathon competitions take place in the metropolis around the globe. Besides New York, Chicago, Boston, London and Rotterdam, also count the marathons in Berlin, Hamburg and Frankfurt to the most prestigious runs in the world. Berlin additionally is regarded as the fastest route of the globe; the last five world records took place in the German capital.
Anyone who wants to dispute a marathon run should besides a tough health – which should be checked by a doctor before the training – have multiannual running experience at one’s disposal. Especially bones, sinews and joints react greatly sensitive on a prompt enhancement of the training workload. Approaching a marathon without preparation can cause injuries.
Before the first marathon race one should best begin with a preparation for a half-marathon and let the experience be known in the further training plan. It makes sense to start with a half-marathon in the first year and to tackle the long distance in the second year of a plan designed for two years.
Running is in and of itself an inexpensive hobby. If you want to run long distances though, you should pour into valuable running equipment.
The choice of the right running shoes is from great importance. Carry out a treadmill analysis to compensate a possible foot malposition through the right choice of your shoes.
At the beginning regular tracksuit pants and a t-shirt are enough. For a half-marathon or marathon you should consider proper running gear. This professional equipment offers the following features: latitude through the amount of spandex, a quick dry function for optimal skin climate, a zip pocket for storage, and low weight.
The essential thing in the marathon preparation is a balanced, individualised trainings plan. A marathon trainings plan download is mostly for free. A good trainings plan shouldn’t be designed for less than twelve weeks. Yet, the workload should already be high in order to increase the trainings intensity, to keep the trainings extent within a limit, and to secure the body from overload.
A marathon training plan means hard work. The plan is dominated by long, slow runs, which improve the stamina. Runs with change in speed rarely represent more than 20 to 30 per cent of the total extent.
A training plan also helps you motivate yourself. Motivation while running can be the sound of music. Some runners swear on music backing while running, others have no use for it and prefer listening to the sounds of nature.
Whether music is help depends on you and your affinity to music. Music can definitely be a great support but you need to consider the rhythm, which should match your speed. Music with 120-150 beats per minute is mostly ideal.
Especially as a beginner it is recommended to begin training without music since the beat can cause stress and distraction. You should become acquainted with your body first and find your ideal running speed.
If you are an experienced runner already, listening to music is fair enough. Online you can find tunes and playlists with the right beats per minute.
Especially in the last weeks before the competition the calorie consumption is extremely high due to the training. In this time in particular, the body requires the right fuel: complex carbohydrates (whole grain pasta, potatoes), fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as proteins (fish, nuts, poultry meat, dairy products, eggs) should dominate the daily diet besides several litre of liquid.
The amount of carbohydrates during the days before the marathon should come to 70% of your diet. In this period it is important that you don’t or only light train. It is possible that you gain weight in this time, but you shouldn’t be worried since this isn’t body fat.
On your big day, try to get up 4-5 hours before the run. If you have difficulties doing that, you should try to accustom your body to get up earlier the days before.
Allow yourself an easily digestible, wholesome breakfast. Avoid dietary fibre and fat. The meal should contain approximately 200 grams of carbohydrates (ca. 800 calories).
Toast, bananas, sports drinks, pasta or rice are excellent meals before the race. A lot of drinking is also important – the urine should be clear – but you shouldn’t overdo since toilet breaks during the run impede you. Rather drink during the marathon. Therefore make use of the refreshment stations. They also offer energy bars and bananas, which will provide your body with valuable carbohydrates.
The marathon nutritional protocol doesn’t end behind the finish line. After finally coming home, it is advisable to eat similar food to the one before the marathon, in order to backfill the empty carbohydrate storages in your body.
During the marathon the blood supply in the stomach is low. Therefore, the digestive system functions less adequate. That’s why it is advisable not to eat large meals; instead take in little portions. Fat and alcohol delay the regeneration.