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What Can Running a Marathon Teach You About Life?

Prepare for the worst

It's important for us to be realistic sometimes as well. 

The better prepared you are, the higher the probability that you will "finish" your life's marathons.

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What Can Running a Marathon Teach You About Life?

What Can Running a Marathon Teach You About Life?

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/what-can-running-a-marath_n_7935366

huffpost.com

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Key Ideas

The legend

The term "marathon" came from the legend of Pheidippides, a Greek messenger. 

T'he legend states that he was sent from the battlefield of Marathon to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated in the Battle of Marathon. It is said that he ran the entire distance without stopping and burst into the assembly exclaiming, "we have wοn," before collapsing and dying.

Break down your run

A marathon is 26.2 miles. But if we break it down, we're really just running 10 miles twice, then finishing it off with a simple 10km run.

You can apply this concept to your goals. Break them down, so they don't seem so daunting. Tackle it each step at a time. And if you need to, take breaks in between. It's not the end of the world.

Keep in mind

  • Picture the finish line: Sometimes when the going gets tough, you need to envision yourself at the finish line, for a boost in motivation.
  • We're not all meant to finish: There are many people who will give up during the marathon. And that's ok.

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The first marathon
The first marathon

The first marathon was held at the 1896 Olympics in Athens to commemorate the run of the soldier Pheidippides from a battlefield near the town of Marathon, Greece, to Athens in 490 B.C.

History of marathons
  • The first official Olympic race started at the Marathon Bridge and ended at the Olympic Stadium in Athens, a distance of about 24.85 miles. Of the 25 entrants, only 9 runners finished.
  • After 1896, in the next few Olympic marathons, it was decided that as long as the runners ran the same course, there was no need to keep the distance exactly the same.
  • From the 1908 London Olympics, the course was laid out from Windsor Castle to White City stadium. To put the finish line in front of the royal family's viewing box, an extra 385 yards was added.
  • It took 13 years of arguing before the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) adopted the 1908 distance as the official marathon.
Benefits

It is never too late to start running. Many take up this sport in their 50s and beyond. To start, you only need a good pair of running shoes and a desire.

Running is a very effective...

Types of running
  • Road Running: running on paved roads, paths, and sidewalks.
  • Treadmill Running: easier than outdoor running and can be gentler on your joints.
  • Racing. Road races can vary from 5Ks to half or full marathons or even ultramarathons. 
  • Trail Running: it takes place on hiking trails, from deserts to mountains.
  • Track Running. Track events include shorter distance races from the 50-yard dash to 400-meter sprints. 
Getting Started
  • Invest in Shoes and Gear. Visit a specialty running store to get fitted for the best shoes for you and check out gear such as running shorts, tops, or tights made of wicking fibers.
  • Stay Safe. Do a warmup before you start, like a walk or an easy jog for 5 min.
  • Follow running safety advice, such as going against traffic when running on roads. Always carry some form of identification with you.
  • Use the Run/Walk Method. Start with running for one minute, then walk for one minute. Try to increase the running intervals over time.
  • Make It Manageable. Keep a conversational pace during each workout. If you can't speak in a full sentence, slow down. Breathe through your nose to get enough oxygen.

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Failure to prepare is preparing to fail
Failure to prepare is preparing to fail

When preparing for any marathon or long distance, not only is physical preparation important but it is also crucial to prepare mentally for the gruelling number of miles and the inevitable menta...

Hitting the wall

Hitting the wall is basically about running out of energy: Your legs feel like concrete, your breathing becomes laboured, your stride turns into a shuffle. Negative thoughts flood your mind, and the urge to quit becomes overwhelming. 

Hitting the wall isn’t just a fallacy, it’s probably going to happen to you at some point to you if you’re brave enough to be running the marathon.

Mentally preparing for a marathon

Identifying imaginary, but realistic scenarios before the race like “what happens when I hit the wall?” or “what if it rains?” and then identifying  potential strategies to cope with these situations should they arise on race day are the key to success on the actual day itself.

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