When I think about the benefits of marathon running, there are two main factors that affect me which are mental health and physical health. Also, I feel my body is better because of the reduction of blood pressure, improves cardio, and I feel refreshed.
The benefits of running include better sleep, improved cardio health, muscle strength, and better health and fitness. Running can be either low, medium, or high intensity and this activity can be performed by almost everyone.
When I ran a 5k marathon, I saw the changes to my body and felt the benefits as a result. On my usual run and during this marathon I saw the personal benefits. What might be the benefits of running a marathon for you? Is it healthy? Let’s talk about the benefits of running.
Benefits Of Running A Marathon
If simple running can change our entire body and can have many benefits, what more when it comes to running a marathon? With enough preparation and adequate training, running a marathon can affect a person’s body according to Pradeep Moonot from NDTV.
Added to that, marathon running is not just to strengthen and build stamina, but also to improve mental health. That’s why marathon running extends beyond physical benefits. Given that it recharges the body and rejuvenates the mind which serves as detoxification from negative emotions.
I also think that every runner should at least try a marathon even if it’s 5k or 3k only. Because other benefits of marathon running are the whole experience and the challenges themselves.
However, without proper training and practice, you might not obtain the benefits of running a marathon which can lead to various injuries. This is one of the reasons why some people don’t try a marathon making them a little worried.
But I believe that worrying can be overcome especially if you have enough preparation and know the benefits of running a marathon in which I have listed some of them below:
Benefits Of Running In The Physical Health
Marathon Running Is Good For Your Overall Health
It’s a fact that running a marathon gives you better overall health. Even the aspect of training a marathon, the simple running and doing some basic warm-up exercises before you hit running can improve your overall health due to your muscles, heart rate, and bones being pumped up.
Because running regularly reinforces your cardio and helps maintain your cholesterol and blood pressure on a regular level. In addition, the longer you run the more your body will become more resilient to fatigue and you’ll have a low chance to have heart disease, cancer, and others else.
Marathon Running Is Makes You Stay Physically Fit
Most marathoners maintain their physical fitness. This is due to the training and preparation it involves before going for a marathon. I believe that being physically fit is one of the requirements to be able to join in a marathon event.
It’s not a strict requirement per se, but you’ll need to be in good shape if you’re going to join a marathon. Because running marathon deals with endurance and agility. If you’re not physically fit then you might fail to make it to the finish line.
With regular running, more time to prepare, and maintaining physically fit, you might have the chance to finish a marathon. Even athletes need to maintain their good shape so they can ace the finish line.
Marathon Running Is An Effective Calorie Burner
For me, running is among the most effective and most efficient calorie burners especially for long runs and when you are training for a marathon. Because most of the time, you’ll be running more often for conditioning and better preparation when you’re going for a marathon run.
As a result, you might be burning thousands of calories and you will get hungry as you train or after running a marathon. In this case, I have my healthy snack bars, mixed granola, or mixed nuts to compensate a bit my burned calories. But I’m careful about what I eat after training or a marathon.
Marathon Running Can Make You Sleep Well
Given that when preparing for a marathon, it can be an exhaustive training or in the actual marathon. Because you’re trying to push yourself a bit in order to become better in endurance and agility, at least in my case. In return, my body feels tired and craves sleep.
Since my body is tired, my body wants to repair itself for complete recovery making me sleep better and more soundly, and science can back this according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Also, after a goodnight’s sleep, I feel refreshed and I feel improved overall health. This helps me to have a better performance due to my body’s complete recovery.
Running A Marathon Can Tone Your Legs
People run because they have the desire to lose weight or trim their bodies. From my experience, when I used to train for a marathon, I felt there’s an improvement with my legs—it becomes stronger than before.
I also noticed some physical changes although I didn’t have well-toned legs I developed a good shape and becomes more resilient. I believe this is due to my frequent running during my training which makes my legs develop over time.
Also, the result of running a marathon and during its preparation, largely affects the lower body especially the glutes, calves, and hamstring, making your legs becomes stronger and having a toned form.
Benefits Of Running In The Mental Health
Running A Marathon Can Reduce Your Stress Level
I can tell that long runs and running a marathon play a major factor in my physical form, but I can also tell that it can reduce my stress level and even give me peace of mind. Sometimes stress can be bothersome, and running is among my stress relievers.
In fact, according to research, every exercise including running can reduce a person’s anxiety and stress levels. This is why I find running an effective stress reliever and helps me attain a peaceful mind.
I find peace of mind when I’m running because I’m fixated on the path and I’m alert to my surroundings which is a good distraction for my brain especially when I’m stressed in life.
Marathon Running Can Give You A New Outlook In Life
There’s a popular saying in which paraphrased, any person who starts a marathon will not be the same person who finishes a marathon. This rings true to me, even though I didn’t make it to the top 50 in a 5k marathon, I still felt the change in my perspective.
I have a changed perspective after I hit the finish line. It makes me feel stronger both in physical and mental strength because after all the hard work of training and regular runs, I prove to myself that I can persevere, and hitting a finish line on a marathon is my proof regardless of my standing.
Running A Marathon Will Improve Your Motivation
Joining a marathon is an easy step but the preparation and sticking to the training schedule is a difficult one. Running a marathon is challenging both in the physical and mental aspects which is why this will test anyone’s motivation.
To be honest, I almost abandon running for a marathon because the first few weeks of my marathon training is very challenging for me. Usually, people who run for a marathon have a coach, an athlete, or have been running for some time. But I don’t have any coach and I’m not even an athlete.
What just drove me is the curiosity of running a marathon and what it feels like to finish the line. I think those two factors make me stay motivated, and thankfully I succeeded. Also, you just need to know your “why” so you can be motivated.
Running A Marathon Can Boost Your Brain Health
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, there’s a link between running and brain performance. The bridge that connects the two is cardiovascular. This triggers a blood vessel growth that will nourish the brain.
And because running can affect your overall health, this trickles down to every part of the body both internal and external even in your brain. Exercises such as running can improve your brain performance and lessen the chance of cognitive decline.
As a result, you’ll become better at managing your stress, you are more focused, improve memory retention, and even elevate your mood. These are the long-term benefits of running and I believe that the preparation of marathon running, can improve your brain health.
Helpful Tips You Can Use When Preparing Your First Marathon
Running a marathon can overwhelm people including myself. Because it’s long, exhaustive, and can give you injuries while running especially if you’re not well prepared. I only experienced two marathons which are 3k and 5k.
My 3k run gave my foot sores due to my lack of preparation, but my 5k run is much better because I have more preparations and I stick to my training schedule. I’ve learned from my mistake and the key is to be well prepared.
Listed below are my helpful tips when preparing for your first marathon.
Know Your Limits When During Your Marathon Training — The saying that “no pain, no gain” may not be completely true according to UCIhealth. Although there’s good pain and bad pain. Good pain lets you feel burning fatigue when you push yourself a bit.
Bad pain is when you push yourself to the limit to the point you start to feel discomfort which can lead to injuries or over-fatigue nearing fainting.
Each person has their own limitation and it’s important to know if you’re working hard or overworking yourself. Don’t overstrain yourself and start with baby steps when preparing to run. It’s also important to stay safe when running.
Start Small When Preparing For A Marathon — In this case, try running shorter or half marathons first. This will give you an idea of how long you can run and what needs to be improved. It will also identify certain limitations.
Earlier, I said that you must know your limits when you’re preparing for a marathon. This is why starting small during your training will make your running more efficient especially if it’s the actual marathon. Otherwise going beyond your ability might just lead you to injuries and disappointment.
A Pair Of Comfortable Running Shoes Matter In Running A Marathon —Although choosing the best running shoes is a matter of personal preference, the general rule of thumb when investing in running shoes should be comfortable and good-quality shoes.
These are among the contributing factors to a successful marathon running. It doesn’t have to be expensive but it should be a snug fit where your feet can utilize its strength.
Having A Good Diet Is A Good Preparation For Marathon Running — When I’m preparing for a marathon, I also ensure my food intake which is crucial to my running performance. I always consider having a low fiber and high carb meal for optimal performance.
Before I run, I only eat hard-boiled eggs and a whole banana. While running, I need to refuel with some carbohydrates like energy bars or a sports drink. When I’m done running, I eat granola cereal or muesli with some berries and nuts.
If you want to have a marathon training diet, I recommend this article: afoodiestaysfit.com
As someone who experienced running a marathon, I believe that every people should at least join in a marathon whether it’s a 1k, 3k, 5k, etc., it’s a worthwhile experience and it’s an added achievement in life.
I think that there are more benefits to running, some of them are included on my list. In order to get these benefits, I think that everyone should be well-prepared and stay motivated so you won’t encounter any injuries or become disappointed when you’re in the actual marathon.
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