Marathon racing - The basics

Marathon racing - The basics

How Long Is A Marathon? Marathon In Kilometer and miles

The first question that anyone who is considering challenging themselves to a marathon is likely to ask is “How long is a marathon?” The question is an easy one to answer; 26.2 miles long. That translates into 42.195 kilometers. The distance is an odd number, but one that dates back to the run of Pheidippides, who was a Greek soldier famed for running across the country as a messenger who survived the Battle of Marathon. It is run to commemorate his run back to the city of Athens to tell his tale.

1908 Summer Olympics in London

The International Olympic Committee agreed in 1907 that the distance for the 1908 London Olympic marathon would be about 25 miles or 40 kilometres. The organisers decided on a course of 26 miles from the start at Windsor Castle to the royal entrance to the White City Stadium, followed by a lap (586 yards 2 feet; approximently 536 m) of the track, finishing in front of the Royal Box. The course was later altered to use a different entrance to the stadium, followed by a partial lap of 385 yards to the same finish. The modern 42.195 km standard distance for the marathon was set by the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) in May 1921 directly from the length used at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London. The original marathon was traditionally a road race, but as runners began desiring an advanced challenge, and wanted to test their will, trail courses, hills, mountains, mud and just about every other obstacle has been added to the list of marathon races available.

What Is Endurance Running

The question "What is endurance running?" is a very subjective one. Some people would insist that running to the end of the mailbox requires a lot of endurance. Endurance running is different for everyone and every running level. For those who are runners at heart, endurance running is somewhere in the range of eight to ten miles, 12 to 16 kilometers. For seasoned athletes, however, it could mean 50 miles (80 km) or more. The definition is really relational to your perspective, how natural running comes to you, and how long you have been doing it. Some people run all their lives who barely break a sweat and think of a ten mile run as a quick one while others believe that a five-mile run is a significant challenge. Almost like the glass is either half full or half empty, endurance running is defined by the runner themselves. If it is a challenge to you, then it is likely to test your endurance. Don’t try to define it, just go for it, go hard, and go as long as you can while still enjoying the ride.

Preparing For Your First Marathon

Often people announce their intentions to run a marathon as if they are running for office. Likely, they make the commitment aloud to their friends and family to confirm for themselves that this is something they are ready for. If you are willing to try your hand at one of the biggest challenges of a lifetime, and one that you can carry in your preverbal back pocket forever, then the first step to preparing for your first marathon is to have a good mindset about it. Keeping it light and incorporating the goal into your life instead of making it your life, is an excellent way to approach the big race.

Don't be too hard on yourself

The key to training is not to put too much pressure on yourself. Committing to a marathon is a big deal, but you have to put it into perspective. Often people psyche themselves out, go at it too hard, or make it such an obsession that it becomes more punishment than enjoyment. The best way to train for a marathon is by first mentally being prepared. The second step is to enlist the help of other people in your life. Whether it is those people who love you and will keep you honest when you just don’t feel like keeping on anymore, or it is a trainer who is knowledgeable about what steps to take to prepare you, find the most supportive crew to push and encourage you to the finish line.

Enjoy the training as much as the race

Training for a marathon is like any big challenge in life, it isn’t going to be easy, but no worthwhile accomplishment is. Prepare for your marathon run by staying positive, not overdoing it, and remembering above all, you are human, and if something should happen along the way, there is always another marathon right around the corner to try, try, again. A runner knows that it isn’t as much about the finish line as it is the joy of getting there. Don’t be in such a hurry to cross it that you fail to recognize the accomplishments you have made along the way.