The Benefits Of Building Your Core For a Marathon

When it comes to running, there are a lot of muscles in play. There is so much more involved in running than the simple task of running itself. Your body needs to be fully optimized in various facets in order to not only achieve optimal performance but also to minimize injury risk. If all you are doing to prepare for running is running itself, you are going to be missing out on a lot. Below, we will discuss some of the benefits of building your core for a marathon and how to maximize your life sciences during workouts.

Building Your Core:

1. Health.

One of the best ways to stay healthy as a runner would be to have proper core strength. Injury prevention should be and usually is a top goal for any kind of runner. This is especially true for runners doing any significant amount of endurance running a marathon. Therefore, if Core muscles are important, you will likely be willing to incorporate them into your routine. Core strength ultimately plays a big role in stabilizing your entire body while you are running by helping you maintain a neutral pelvis throughout. Thus, it is going to end up minimizing the amount of breakdown your form takes through fatigue.

2. Faster.

Another benefit associated with having a strong core is the ability to run faster. Stronger muscles will ultimately help you run faster and utilize less energy while you are doing it. Core workouts are able to help allow your body to utilize more muscles during any given workout. As a result, you are going to end up having much more muscle fiber to work with and it is going to keep you from getting tired as fast as you normally would.

Overall, there are a lot of benefits associated with strengthening your core as a runner. The benefits really come out when you are looking for endurance.

Should A Hat Be Worn During A Marathon?

If you’re going to run in a marathon, you may want to know what you’re allowed to wear. One item that may work out well for you is a hat. Here are a few reasons why you should wear one and info on getting the best for you.

You may want to wear a hat to keep the sun away from your face. There are things like baseball caps that are good for this kind of thing. They also make hats that are good for protecting the whole area around your neck and head. But, you have to think about what you can wear that will actually stay on and not get in your way when you’re trying to run the marathon. The last thing you need is to have to hold your hat while running and have it be a nuisance instead of something that is helping you.

When picking out a hat, go with one that’s going to be cost effective and that will work. Just because something is expensive or cheap doesn’t make it a good idea to buy. You should look up what runners wear and then try to find those brands to buy yourself. If you hear, for instance, that one kind stays tight and keep the sun away from your eyes, then that’s better than going with a hat that’s better for gardening or something else. There are plenty of sites that give you gear recommendations that you can go through before making your choice.

Should you wear a hat during a marathon? A lot of people do because it lets them avoid getting sun-burnt and keeps them from getting too much sweat in their eyes. It’s really up to you and your comfort level with wearing one while running.

What To Do If You Need To Use The Bathroom During A Marathon

Marathon runners usually don’t run non-stop for the entire marathon. It’s common for people to stop from time to time. For example, a runner may take a quick break if they think they are going to have an accident.

What should you do if you need to use the restroom? Simply follow these basic steps.

Step One: Get Your Day Off To The Right Kind Of Start

Wake up early on the day of the marathon. Make a point of using the bathroom then. If you relieve yourself before the marathon starts, you’ll be able to wait to use the bathroom.

You may want to take a substance like Imodium before you start running. Imodium is able to slow down movement in your gut. If you take Imodium before a marathon, you shouldn’t have to worry about bowel movements until after the marathon is over.

Step Two: Look For Restrooms As You Run

There should be a number of restrooms available to you as you run a marathon. It’s common to set up portable restrooms at a number of points.

Keep a watchful eye out for these restrooms. If you see a restroom, stop and try to use the bathroom. It’s a good idea to relieve yourself when you can.

Step Three: Don’t Hold It

If you do have to use the bathroom, you shouldn’t hold it any longer than you have to. If you wait too long to use the bathroom, you could wind up giving yourself a bladder infection.

You don’t have to run an entire marathon without using the bathroom. It’s perfectly alright to take a quick break to handle your bodily functions. Once you’ve finished, you can get back to your run. Completing the marathon will be easier if you take care of your body.

For more information on the subject, check out this video:

The Best Sports Drinks For Runners

It’s vitally important for runners to keep themselves properly hydrated. While water usually provides ample hydration, athletes like runners may benefit from the additional hydration that sports drinks provide. Here are some of the best sports drinks for runners.

BodyArmor SuperDrink

If the weather is hot, ordinary water may not cut it. Instead, you may want to rely on the extra hydration that coconut water provides. If you don’t like the taste of coconut water, try BodyArmor. It tastes like fruit; most people love it!

Reliant Recovery Water

This sugar-free water has a great flavor, and an ample amount of electrolytes as well. It also contains vital minerals and nutrients. It can give you the fuel you need to complete a long run.

Zico Pure Premium Coconut Water

This water has plenty of electrolytes and a massive amount of potassium. You don’t need to snack on bananas when you’re running; you can just drink this water instead.

Nature’s Best Isopure

The bright colors of Isopure are eye-catching! However, this drink isn’t just pretty. It can help your body to recover lost electrolytes, and it can also provide the protein you need to finish a long run. This drink can be an excellent source of energy.

Gatorade

Gatorade is the most famous sports drink on the market. It’s known for being effective, and it provides consumers with plenty of different options.

Powerade Zero

Powerade is an affordable calorie-free sports drink, and it has all of the electrolytes you could need. It comes in an array of flavors; you can select the flavor that’s most appealing to you.

If you’re an athlete, you should take a closer look at the best sports drinks for runners. Carrying one of these sports drinks with you will allow you to maintain your hydration when you go out for a nice long run.

Why Calcium Is So Important For Runners

Runners are constantly pushing the limits of their body’s in several different ways all at once. If they aren’t getting enough oxygen they can’t perform and if they don’t get enough of certain minerals such as iron, calcium, sodium, magnesium, and potassium they’ll fail as well. Iron is needed to for the hemoglobin to carry the oxygen to the cells, sodium and potassium are used by the nerves to fire messages to the muscles. Plus calcium and magnesium are needed to build strong bones. Runners, in particular, have problems with stress fractures because their bones can’t take the beating.

Eating A Lot Of Calcium Is More Important For Runners

Since the bones are made primarily of calcium it stands to reason that eating a diet high in this mineral is important. If you don’t eat enough you body will leach the calcium out of your bones to use in other processes. This leaves your bones weaker and in danger of stress fractures.

Most adults require about 1,000 mg per day of calcium but a runner would be better off getting at least 1,200 mg to make sure they don’t go into what’s called negative calcium balance. A negative balance occurs when your body is using bone calcium in other processes because the diet is lacking. The body will resupply the bones when more calcium is consumed in the diet.

Dairy products are some of the best and easiest sources of calcium in the form of milk, yogurt, cheese and other great products. There is also a lot of calcium in many green leafy vegetables but not near as much as what’s in dairy products. While it’s best to get your calcium from the diet, it wouldn’t hurt to add some to the diet in the form of a supplement to ensure that you’re getting all that you need and avoid injury.

Best Exercises To Help Train For a Marathon

When the topic of strength training and running comes up, a lot of runners typically don’t understand the many benefits associated with incorporating it into their routines. The fact is, by supplementing running with strength training exercises, not only can you help prevent injuries, but it can help to boost your speed, security, and efficiency as well. This article will be detailing some of the top exercises to incorporate into your routine if you are looking to train for a marathon.

Training For a Marathon:

1. Planks.

One of the primary muscle groups you should be focused on when you are looking to become a better and more efficient runner is your core. Your core is very important when it comes to maximizing your running capabilities because it is going to ensure that you not only have the proper running posture, but it can also help to minimize any chances of suffering an injury.

2. Overhead Lunge.

If you are going to be working out, you will also want to incorporate various exercises that can help to build up your leg muscles. One of the top ways to build up your leg muscles would be to focus on lunges. Lunges such as an overhead lunge can really maximize your quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings. This is going to help ensure that your leg muscles are strong enough to handle the marathon and can even help to increase your speed as well.

3. Hip Extensions.

Another major exercise that you want to incorporate into your routine would be hip extensions. Whether you use something like a stability ball or you do it with something else, this exercise is going to help strengthen your hamstrings, glutes, and your entire core. Thus, it is going to be one of the best running exercises you can incorporate into your routine because it will help you prevent injury while running.

For more information on this subject,please watch the following video:

The Interesting Origins Of The Modern Marathon.

The modern marathon is one of the most grueling sporting events in the Olympics. However, contrary to what many people believe this foot race is not a modern invention. In fact it has its origins in antiquity.

Runners often risk injury as a marathon is run over a distance of just over 26 miles. usually on roads.

The modern marathon celebrates the accomplishment of a Greek soldier named Pheidippides who ran non stop to Athens to inform the city elders of the victory of their armies at Marathon (hence the name). That victory over the Persians would ensure that the Greek Empire would last for another generation. Legend has it that he delivered his message and then immediately dropped dead from exhaustion.

Irrespective of the origins the first of the modern day marathons was run in 1896. But the distances did vary until an official distance was agree by sporting authorities in 1921.

Today marathons are not only hosted at the Olympic Games, there are nearly a thousand officially sanctioned marathons held all over the world every year. these marathons attract world class athletes from across the globe – and the prize money can run into millions of dollars.

1896 Was of course the beginning of the modern Olympics. The idea to include the marathon was one that was well thought out. Aside from more modern disciplines the organizers wanted something that would cement the games in the ancient tradition of fair play and human achievement at the highest level.

The marathon does all of that. It puts endurance and spirit of the individual at the pinnacle of what separates elite athletes from those who want to merely explore fitness. The history of the warrior Greek who literally sacrificed all for his state is echoed in the superb athletes who today take part in the marathon. A spectacle watched by people all over the world – and who salute those who take part for their dedication and bravery.

For more information on ancient Greece, please watch the following video:

5 Foods To Avoid Before A Race

Many people are aware of the necessity of storing carbohydrates in their body before a long run or a marathon. The carbohydrates are broken down and converted into glycogen, a polysaccharide that is stored in the body’s muscles and ready to use as an efficient source of energy so the body does not need to resort to burning fat, a less efficient fuel source. However, despite being aware of carbohydrate intake before the beginning of a big race, runners also need to be aware of various foods that they shouldn’t be eating beforehand: foods that may be detrimental to their performance and their health in general.

  • Lactose

Despite a few dairy products being a good source of carbohydrates, runners should be aware of the amount of lactose they are consuming at the same time. Many people have trouble processing lactose in their bodies as they age. And whether or not you are even running in a big race, the inability to process lactose can lead to uncomfortable, sometimes even painful, stomach irritation and nausea.

  • High-fiber foods

While they are obviously incorporated into many healthy diets, there are lots of fruits and vegetables that are naturally high in fiber and can be detrimental to a runner’s performance during a race. Avoiding foods such as broccoli, legumes and multigrain breads will help runners avoid stomach irritation similar to consuming lactose, as well as spare them the discomfort of gas building in their gastrointestinal tract.

  • Fatty foods

Unlike carbohydrates, grams of fat take a longer time and significantly more energy to break down. Therefore, even during the middle of a race, foods that are high in fat content tend to linger in your stomach and feel like they are literally weighing you down, especially those foods high in saturated fats. It is recommended to wait until after a race is completed to start working on that burger.

  • Spicy foods

They may be beneficial to your metabolism. They may be less difficult or unruly to process as lactose, and they may not necessarily sit as a deadweight in your stomach like foods high in fat content, but too much spicy food can still affect your ability to perform. Eat enough spicy food before a race, and you may find yourself competing with a bout of heartburn or indigestion instead of that stretch of pavement.

  • White or refined sugars

They tend to be viewed as empty calories anyway. Beyond that, consuming foods rich in white or refined sugars leads runners to run the risk (no pun intended) or hypoglycemia. Ingesting such food causes blood sugar levels to spike quickly and decrease at a rapid pace. This condition can lead to headaches and fatigue that would greatly hamper the performance of any distance runner. It is best to avoid high GI (glycemic index) foods in exchange for lower GI foods such as foods with natural sugars like some fruits (so long as they don’t also fill you up on fiber at the same time). 

You should keep all of this in mind if you want to run your practice more efficiently.

5 Foods To Eat Before A Race

There are at least a couple modern day diets that swear off carbohydrates as a bane to your health, but this in fact could not be further from the case. While it is true that unused carbohydrates are stored in the body as fat, the main purpose of this nutrient is to be converted into energy-producing compounds that are generally burned for immediate or near-immediate use. This is why athletes and runners have a tendency to load up on meals such as pasta, rice and potatoes before taking to the field or starting that marathon; these foods are packed with carbohydrates that can be used as fuel for the muscles so they have the energy to perform.

With that said, however, there are several foods that are likely better options for runners to resort to when looking for their source of carbohydrates, especially when it comes to maintaining endurance in long-distance races or marathons. The body tends to break down and store carbohydrates as glycogen in your muscles for use when you are ready to begin that race.

However, despite wanting to eat foods that are rich in carbohydrates, Dr. Brian Rapaport warns against eating foods that are also high in fiber (mostly to avoid stomach issues during the middle of the race). He encourages runners to start “carbo-loading” a couple of days in advance and recommends a variety of foods to use for this process.

  • Fruits (Bananas, orange juice)

As long as you avoid fruits that are also naturally high in fiber, these sources should supply plenty of glycogen to your muscles. Dr. Rapaport recommends consuming approximately 150 grams of carbohydrates on the morning of race day, and these sources alone supply approximately 50 grams by themselves.

  • Grains (Bagels, granola bars, sourdough rolls)

Avoiding processed or refined grains with more complex compounds or sugars for the body to break down, this selection of grains tends to pack a great deal of carbohydrates by themselves. A whole bagel alone provides roughly 70 grams of carbs to your body, nearly half of Dr. Rapaport’s recommended breakfast supply. Granola bars for snacks and sourdough rolls for lunch or dinner also provide a surprising amount of carbohydrates by themselves, nearly 30 and 40 grams respectively.

  • Starches (baked potato, burrito with rice)

Dr. Rapaport’s specific plan recommended a chicken burrito that contained rice, corn salsa and black beans, supplementing a dinner with a decent supply of grains and legumes to the meal. The burrito itself offers over 100 grams of carbs! And a baked potato is no slouch either. Add a quarter cup of salsa to it, and you’re peaking at almost 70 grams of carbohydrates with that alone.

  • Dairy (yogurt, chocolate milk)

Adding to the immediate pre-race breakfast regiment, yogurt and chocolate milk provide a good amount of carbohydrates as well. 8 ounces of fruit-flavored yogurt can supply your body with over 40 grams of carbohydrates, and chocolate milk – while on the lower end of the spectrum – still grants about 26 grams in just a single cup.

  • Sweets and candy

Surprisingly enough, Dr. Rapaport even includes a bit for those with a sweet tooth. An oatmeal cookie at lunch time can supply over 50 grams of carbohydrates if it’s big enough. His specific plan also includes “Swedish Fish” which can provide up to a staggering 148 grams of carbohydrates per 12-piece serving, though Dr. Rapaport recommends a 1-2 ounce bag to suffice.

“Carb-loading” a couple days in advance and incorporating some of these foods into your breakfast the morning of the race, according to his research, will provide your body with ample stored glycogen for your muscles to burn before they need to resort to burning less efficient stores of fat for your marathon. This will give you the best chance to avoid “hitting the wall” and finishing that race.