Runners come in all shapes and sizes. I have seen 300-pound men and women at the start of a race and in contrast the chiseled muscles of the elite runners. The reasons for running are as various as the runners themselves. Some run for weight lose, mental or physical health, competition, and charity. There are many physical health benefits for running; “Human bodies burn about 2,000-2,500 calories a day in normal activities. Running 5 miles a day can burn an additional 500 calories. ” If this same formula holds true, a person completing a marathon will have burnt close to 2,600 calories.
However, how fast a person doesn’t correspond with how much weight they may loose while running. “For example, a 220-pound person running an eight-minute mile burns 150 calories, while a 120-pound person running at the same pace burns only 82. Every person’s body requires an excess of 3,500 calories in order to gain a pound or a deficit of 3,500 calories in order to lose a pound. Thus, 180-pound person who runs 5 miles each day will lose about 5 pounds a month. However, as his or her weight goes down, he or she will burn fewer calories per mile” according to a study conducted at Vanderbilt University.
According to Runner’s World editor Hal Higgdon. “Running can also have many psychological benefits. Most significantly runners typically report being happier and feeling less stressed than their counterparts who do not run or exercise regularly. Running actually has the ability to alter an individuals moods because hormones called endorphins are released while running. These hormones create a sense of euphoria often referred to as a runner’s high and can result in an improvement in the runner’s mood. ” With these endorphins being released into the runner’s body, running can be very addictive.
A man or woman can feel like they’ve been turned into Michael Jordan and anything, even running 26 miles, is possible. Running a marathon and the distances to train are also almost spiritual. When I run I am able to solve my companies, personal, families, and the whole worlds problems. I have come up with some of the most life altering and affirming choices in the sunrise of an 8-mile run. Running is also a great stress reliever while running I am able to focus on the road and the miles as they build. I am able to forget about the office, family, or other concerns. There are 26. reasons why a marathon is hard. To put this distance in perspective if you were to drive your car at 60 mph it would take a half an hour to drive that distance. But while running the marathon “there is no downtime. You’re the machine,” says physical therapist Jim Wharton of New York-based Wharton Performance, which trains world-class athletes. The debate about the difficulty of the marathon, doesn’t center just on the physical aspects. “Motivation, confidence and mental toughness are necessary,” says Stephen Russo, director of sports psychology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Health System.
Running is painful; it’s tedious, and exhausting. After a few miles our bodies scream for us to stop and rest. When the body screams stop that is when the mind takes over and you keep running. Through my experiences in running and race competitions I can say a marathon is not something that can be described it is something must be experienced. In a marathon the participant will be competing against hundreds and in larger races thousands of other hopefuls. In many marathons time restrictions are placed on which the marathon will end. -8 hours after the marathon has began, barricades will be removed and the race rout will be dismantled. If a runner is unable to finish in the allotted time the race officials may take them to the finish line and will not allowed to finish.
However during those 6-8 hours a runner can run, jog, or walk any distance they want. When Khalid Khannouchi won the London Marathon last year, he didn’t do any walking: He set a world record of 2 hours, 5 minutes and 38 seconds. For elite athletes like Khannouchi distance running is a way of life. Marathoners seem either to be training or getting ready for the next workout. You wake up every morning and you know what you have to do. You have long mileage to accumulate. Sometimes you’re already tired from your last two or three workouts. You still have to wake up, have the motivation and go outside and do the training. ” Khannouchi said. For me running is not simply about the weight loss or the constant inquires of family, friends, and co-workers who ask, “How many mile(s) did you run today? ” When I run I am only accountable to my trusty stopwatch and myself.
The marathon is my Everest. I will be back. Standing there with hundreds of other runners in tank tops and short on a cold fall morning, waiting for the starter pistol. I don’t run for the medal or the crowd I run for me. I run despite the 9 times out of 10 it will hurt, but I keep going. I run for that one time that it doesn’t and I am able to finish my run and look down at my stop watch and be excited about a new personal best time, if only a few seconds. I run because I know it will hurt but I keep going and I won’t give into the pain. I am an athlete. I am runner.