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What are the benefits of running a marathon?

Motivation To Run A Marathon

Pat Connelly (Running Coach for LA Roadrunners and Valencia High School) gives expert video advice on: What are the benefits of running a marathon?; Will I lose weight running a marathon?; Where should I get my motivation to run a marathon? and more...

What are the benefits of running a marathon?

What are the benefits for running a marathon? Well, what are the benefits of swimming the English Channel, what are the benefits of climbing Mt. Whitney, what are the benefits of parachuting out of an airplane for the first time? They all have a certain thrill and a certain thing that you have done in life and you can be proud of, that you achieved. Running a marathon is quite a challenge mentally and physically. It is not the normal thing to do, and for people who take on that test, take a risk, the consequence of that risk is very rewarding, to do something that may people dare to do but don't have the courage. I think the people that do take on that task show a certain measure of character strength and quality that many people dream about.

Will I lose weight running a marathon?

Will you lose weight running a marathon? Absolutely, as long as a diet goes with that. What you'll probably see more than weight loss, is you'll see inches drop off. Because when you run you add muscle, and muscle weighs more than fat. So your weight may not change that much unless you're quite heavy when you get started. But you will see a difference in pant and dress size.

Where should I get my motivation to run a marathon?

Motivation to run a marathon really is an intrinsic value that comes from within. Certainly coaches can stimulate and motivate to a certain extent. But really that drive comes within the person that you are to run the race. So you need to set yourself a plan psychologically as well as I've discussed in other questions, physiologically. And that is break it up into quarters, take one step at a time, don't look too far ahead, accomplish a task and then go on to the next one.

Can my quality of life improve with running?

Does your quality of life improve with running? I won't guarantee that you will live two years longer but you probably will. However, I will guarantee you that training for a marathon is going to make every organ more healthy. It is going to give you the benefit in your life to experience each day with more quality. You will sleep better, you will eat better, you will relax more and you will handle stress at a much higher level because of the aura that running brings you and the physical responses from your body being healthy will provide for you. You are certainly going to have a different twinkle to your eye and a better complexion, and you are going to have a different bounce in your step. People know that you are doing something different because you will radiate that.

Will I actually be able to run 26-2 miles?

Will you be able to run 26.2 miles? Yes, as long as you stay on course. And if you look at it from a standpoint as you train the first week, on Saturday, "I only have to run 20 minutes." Don't even think about 26 miles. Next week, "Gee whiz, I only have to run 30 minutes." The next week, "Wow, I'm doing 40 minutes." And pretty soon, you're up to an hour. My goodness, I never thought I could do an hour. And then you're up to two hours. And then it's time to switch into mileage, and you're doing nine. And then 11. And then 13. So don't even think about 26... that's far off. Can I do 26 miles if I've never it run before? Sure. You step on that starting line, and the balloons are going up in the air, the band's playing, and the people are cheering, you're on a course with a million people -- mile by mile, you will reach down and find the ability to do a marathon.

Can I complete a marathon even if I've never been a runner?

If I've never been a runner, can I complete a marathon? I train two thousands runners a year. Half of those people that come to me to train for the Holly marathon have never run a step in their life other than going to the mailbox and they run 26 miles, or walk 26 miles, and that group has a 99.6% success rate.

Can I prevent injuries while training for a marathon?

Everyone gets injured somewhat during a marathon training program and the most successful programs have the fewest amount of injuries, but the person involved is the one that is going to keep injuries to a minimum. Like I say, you are going to take 49,000 steps and it doesn't come without some hazard. So the key is to start very, very slowly, one step at a time, one walk at a time or run. So the key is to start slowly one step at a time, and the key is to finish every training session knowing you could have done a little bit more. That means the next day when you work out you still have a little spring in your legs and your mental lookout is good. But if you run and push, and go into a valley, or go into an injury, you are going to really derail your progress.

Is it OK if I finish the marathon at the back of the pack?

Well, somebody has to. Everyone that finishes a marathon is a winner. That is the key. Everyone that covers twenty-six miles is a winner. Everyone that covers twenty-six miles is the upper half of one per cent of America in physical fitness.

Will I be able to function in the days following the marathon?

Probably you're not going to jump up and do any square dancing, but you are going to be elated from a mental standpoint. Therefore you will be excited and so proud of yourself of achieving the goal that you obtained crossing that finish line. Physically you're going to walk up and down the stairs a little slower. Physically you're going to get up out of the chair for a few days a little slower. But mentally, you'll be sky high for the great achievement that you worked for.

Can running outside cause problems in my joints?

Running on cement will cause you problems, but hopefully very few. Everyone has some feeling, negative, in relation to that pounding the legs take. If you take care of yourself, wear the proper shoes, don't over-extend, and listen to your coach, then those problems will be at a minimum. Remember that there are alternatives that we discussed before on other questions, and one would be the stair master or the pool, or even the treadmill.

What happens if I get an injury during marathon training?

What you should do if you get an injury in training is to stop training immediately. The you need to assess the problem, take care of it, and allow adequate time to heal. Most runners make the mistake of getting a little soreness on, let's say their Achilles, and they keep running anyway, and it becomes an acute problem. Now they've got it for a month, where they could have taken 2 or 3 days off, use some ice and some anti-inflammatory and some rest and got through it.