Dr. Andrew Weil, running has become one of the most popular sports and pass times in the past few years. While running can be an excellent form of exercise for someone looking to get in shape and stay fit, training for marathons is a completely different challenge, one that brand new runners may not be aware is vastly different from their everyday exercise. Training for a marathon is not only about ensuring you are in the best possible physical condition to complete the race, you need to prepare mentally and understand the true nature of the challenge you are about to undertake.
While many first time marathon runners might be thinking about all the perks of accepting this challenge such as weight loss, a sense of accomplishment and building endurance, most new comers will forget to take time to think about some of the unpleasantness of running a marathon. Here are a 3 Reasons Not To Run a Marathon.
1. Increased Risk of Injury
As Rachel Spurrier explains, running marathons will increase your chance of injury. While building up your endurance and training yourself to run long distances can be an inviting challenge, take a moment to think about how much more at risk of injury you will be. Most people will expect to start experiencing joint and muscle pain when they undertake the challenge of training for a marathon, but the extent of these injuries are usually unknown to new comers. And for those who might suffer from serious injuries they might require physical therapy in order to make a full recovery.
Rigorous running can traumatize muscles, knees and kidneys if you train on the wrong surfaces, such as concrete or asphalt. Such risks might be obvious to new runners who understand that running for extended periods of time is putting a new strain on your muscles and joints; what might surprise an aspiring marathon runner is that injuries can go beyond sore muscles and sprained ankles.
While training for a marathon, you are putting more than just your legs through rigorous training. Your heart and kidneys will be under new, extremely high levels of stress. This sudden influx in and constant stress will cause your body to believe it is experiencing some kind of danger and go into emergency-repair mode. Soon, your immune system and kidneys will be impaired.
Next, your brain and adrenal glands will begin to produce cortisol and vasopressin. According to yourhormornes.info, Cortisol can control bodily functions such as acting as an anti-inflammatory and influencing blood pressure while vasopressin maintains the body’s temperature and proper kidney functions. The stress of marathon training allows both hormones to be released in excess which can lead to inflamed muscles, impaired kidney function and even cardiac arrest.
As an article on runselfierepeat.com explains, when training for a marathon, you cannot simply pick up a T-shirt, shorts and an average pair of shoes, meticulous thought and preparation must go into the clothing you will wear when you run. Clothing like cotton shirts and shorts can cause extreme irritation and chaffing; a specially designed set of shirt and shorts made from breathable materials should be invested.
To further ensure that chaffing does not occur, lubrication for preventing irritation between your legs is a must, as is tape for your nipples in order to prevent them from rubbing on your shirt. The most important bit of equipment you must be sure to purchase, however, is a good pair of running shoes. Preparing to run a marathon will require specially designed sports shoes. The smartest option would be finding a store specializing in sportswear that will track your stride and tailor your shoes to fit your exact needs.
The correct equipment for marathon running is essential to prevent injury but can also cost more money than a first time runner might expect. Not only will the equipment be a substantial investment, but it is sportswear and will eventually wear out as you train more and more. Preparing to run a marathon is not a challenge to be undertaken lightly. It will not only put your health at risk, but will require to invest your money as well as your time.
3. Extensive Planning
Running is often portrayed as an excellent form of stress relief, an exercise to be enjoyed with beautiful sights such as running on the beach, through a forest, or by a river. While this can be true, training for a marathon is not a leisurely ordeal. You cannot wake up one morning and decide on a whim that you will begin training to run in the next marathon.
It takes meticulous planning and an understanding of your own physical fitness and what improvements you need to make in order to endure running long distances. You will need to stick to a strict training regimen that consists of short and long runs. According to Adam Sinicki of Health Guidance, for the first few weeks of your training you should only run between 5 and 6 miles, only adding more distance after building up your endurance. On top of your training, you will need to make sure a diet full of protein and energizing foods is constantly followed to ensure your nutrition remains satisfactory. Making sure you are in the best physical condition to run a marathon is a slow and grueling process that will not only make physical demands of you, but mental ones as well. If you approach a marathon with the wrong mind set, your training and the day of the race will become even more challenging.
While the idea of running a marathon can sound like a fun and challenging experience to undertake, all while losing weight and getting fit, there are many dangers and considerations to make before committing to the task. Sheelagh Daly explains that deciding to run a marathon is an extremely lengthy commitment; following your strict training schedule will mean a decrease in free time to see friends, family and other social gatherings. The amount of training and preparation that goes into marathon running will put you at great physical and mental risk.
Dangers to your immune systems and internal organs, which may not have ever occurred to you when you have thought about taking up running as your sport, are common and can, on occasion, be deadly. The financial investments that you must make when entering a marathon must be considered also. You will not only be purchasing your running equipment, but paying entry fees and, should you get injured, medical bills. These are things you rarely hear about when talking with people who have run marathons. Think about the dangers and fees you will be facing before you decide to make a commitment that could put you at physical risk and a rather severe dent in your wallet.
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