Running provides an efficient full body workout burns a ton of calories, provides a great venue for socializing and improves emotional well-being. Before training for their first marathon, runners must understand the risks and benefits of marathon training. If running a marathon is on your bucket list, half marathons are a good place to start.
Benefits of marathon training:
Increased cardiovascular capacity:
Training for a half marathon requires the gradual building of mileage and speed, prolonged running and
commitment to fitness. The training runs required for a half marathon push the body to the perfect limits for maintaining a healthy heart and cardiovascular system.
Swelling and inflammation are common after intense exercise but research seems to indicate that the body will eventually adjust to the increased level to help reduce systematic inflammation.
Improves your personal training program:
After completing a race, analyzing your log to evaluate your training will yield to your body reacted to the different elements of your marathon training program. This will give you useful information that you can implement to train smarter for your next event.
Weight loss and calorie burning:
Training for a half marathon requires logging a lot of miles, which will turn you into a calorie-burning machine. This will definitely burn calories and improve muscle tone.
Exercise is one of the best ways to naturally reduce your blood pressure if it’s above normal and it can help keep high cholesterol in check. Running also improves your immune system, so your body functions are more effective and efficient at fighting off germs.
Mental health benefits:
The slow build up of your long run every week allows you to slowly build your confidence. It is a challenging run with plenty of bragging rights, but it is also not enough to nearly kill you. Race success can do a lot for your mental preparation for other races. It is an excellent stress reducer as well.
Running a marathon will temporarily put the immune system into overdrive. As cortisol is released to reduce swelling, the immune system then becomes compromised. Marathoners are encouraged to supplement with vitamin C, reduce outside stressors and get plenty of sleep to support the immune system.
While the half marathon distance is growing in popularity, the number of people who have completed a half marathon is still very small. Once you cross that half marathon finish line, you will be joining an elite group of runners who have accomplished this feat.
One of the biggest physiological benefits is increased muscle strength. Long runs also assist the body in storing a greater amount of glycogen, which is where your body gets energy during a long, hard effort.
Some running groups or clubs offer marathon training, so you can train with a group and expand your social network.
This article will provide prevention tips and nutritional guidelines for long-distance running to help reduce the risks and optimize the benefits of long distance running.