Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Women’s Marathon
Are you aware that marathon is a name that originally belonged to Pheidippides, a Greek messenger? Legend has it that Pheidippides was sent from Marathon Battlefield to Athens to make a formal announcement about the defeat of Persians in the famous Marathon Battle that occurred towards the end of 490BC.
The dutiful messenger ran the whole distance without making any stopovers, and when he got to Athens, he exclaimed; we have won. Unfortunately, Pheidippides collapsed and died immediately thereafter.
The benefits of participating in women’s marathon
There are various reasons why you ought to participate in women’s marathons. Some of them are expounded below.
1. Motivation to keep running every week
Nobody can run for 26.2 miles without consistent training. Having a women’s marathon in your calendar is a strong motivation to keep training every week.
2. It can help you shed excess weight
Training for women’s marathon will encourage you to log hundreds of miles every week, and this eventually transforms you into an efficient calorie burning machine. However, you shouldn’t make up for the lost weight by over-eating.
3. Numerous health benefits
Are you aware that taking part in women’s marathon has several health benefits? Running makes your heart stronger and improves the circulation of oxygen and blood. As a result, you’ll be at less risk of suffering a heart attack.
Running regulates blood pressure and also keeps cholesterol in check. Additionally, it boosts your immune system, thus making your system efficient and effective in keeping diseases at bay.
4. Bragging rights for a life time
Very few people are capable of completing a full marathon. When you eventually manage to cross the finishing line after several weeks of training, you’ll join a select group of heroes who refer to themselves as full marathoners.
Thereafter, you can brag about the great accomplishment to your friends, associates and family for many years.
5. Discovery of new running routes
If you have the habit of running for short distances, you’ll discover that preparing for women’s marathons makes you discover new routes that you had no idea existed before. This is because you’ll have to cover long distances during the training period.
6. You’ll develop a more structured training schedule
If you are one of those people who like following a strict schedule, you’ll fall in love with the training required for participating in a full marathon. You’ll be forced to examine your training schedule every day to find out what needs to be done, whether it’s taking a complete rest, running or cross-training.
How to Make Preparations for the Big Day
It’s important to take cognizance of the fact that running up to the finishing line during women’s marathon isn’t easy. It’s therefore important to have sufficient levels of discipline and dedication.
In order to achieve the ultimate objective, formulate and follow a good training schedule. You can go about it in the following ways:
1. Make a good plan
Your current abilities must be kept in mind before making a plan of practice runs. You must have the capacity to run non-stop for about 30 minutes if you intend to take part in women’s marathon.
The schedule must clearly explain the forms of training exercises, recovery exercises as well as the distance you intend to cover in every single run.
2. Plan long runs
Make arrangements for running at least one long run every week and ensure you implement this objective. During the initial stages, cover approximately 10 miles in every long run. Try to make arrangements for covering extra miles every subsequent week. By the 17th week, you ought to be capable of covering approximately 22 miles for long runs.
3. Alternate between short runs and long runs
Ideally, long runs (seven or eight miles) ought to have a faster pace. Short runs can significantly enhance your cardio-vascular function. Alternating between short and long runs can give you the encouragement that indeed you can comfortably run for long periods.
This exercise can be conducted on the treadmill, so you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home. During long runs, you shouldn’t engage in any conversations, and neither should you walk.
4. Cross train
Are you aware that running for too long can affect your capacity to run during the actual marathon? For this reason, consider spending some of the training time having low impact workouts. They’ll help to build strength in the upper parts of your body and also maintain your endurance.
Ideally, you should cross-train with exercises such as yoga or weightlifting.
5. Take your training seriously
The long runs should be treated as practice runs in preparation for the real women’s marathon. If you can’t train for a few days, make adjustments to your schedule to ensure that only easy runs and/or cross training are missed.
Whenever you engage in intense training sessions, make sure that gel nutrition packets and enough drinking water are readily available.
Types of Runners in Women’s Marathons
In all women’s marathon, there must be a few elite runners who usually complete the race within two hours, while others take their sweet time.
Participants in women’s marathon can be classified into five broad categories: elites, elite age groupers, top-thirders, middle packers as well as just finishers.
Typically, this group is made up of professional runners whose jobs don’t involve sitting behind computers from morning to evening, five days a week. For elites, running is actually their main occupation.
While others are busy working in their offices, this group of people is usually busy running. When you’re going back home after a hard day’s work at the office, the elites will still be running. That’s why they are among the first people to reach the finishing line.
2. Elite age groupers
This group of runners tries their level best to keep up with the elites to the best of their ability. Most probably, running is a secondary occupation because they’re employed on part time or full time basis.
Elite age groupers are capable of consistently covering six minute miles over long distances. The major difference between them and the elites is that whereas the former have to purchase their own gear, the latter don’t have to worry about that. (This is on a light note).
3. Top thirders
As their names suggest, top thriders usually come in third after the two aforementioned groups. Typically, they’re capable of exceeding the average running time. If they’re living in the USA, they probably want to qualify for the renowned Boston Marathon.
Top thirders can go to any length to participate in the Boston Marathon, even if they have to freely give away their beloved pets. More often than not, they’ll have gadgets such as heart rate monitors and GPS watches, among other devices.
4. Middle packers
Middle packers can also be referred to as four hour crowd. Most of them turn up for women’s marathon while dressed in sexy tops. They’re really interested in accomplishing something great; running a whole 26.2 miles. It’s probably their first or fifteenth marathon. Each of them will be so happy to receive a finisher’s medal, a cap and a water bottle.
5. Just finishers
Just as the name suggests, this group of runners is only interested in reaching the finishing line, regardless of the number of hours taken. Some of them run the whole course and complete it while they’re still strong, while others are forced to walk along the way because of fatigue, injury