Metro – April 2010
Body Matters – The London Marathon
This Sunday 35,000 runners will pounds London’s pavements. Here personal trainer Laura Williams exposes some typical marathon myths.
The myth: The marathon race is 26 miles long because that was the distance run by a messenger from the Battle of Marathon to Athens in 490 BC.
The reality: Although the word marathon comes from the legend of Pheidippides, a long-distance runner and messenger, the current 26.2-mile distance was first run in the 1908 Olympic Games in London from Windsor Castle to White City Stadium with an extra 385 yards added to previous race distances to ensure the race finished in front of the Royal Box.
The myth: Hitting the wall is when you just can’t face running anymore
The reality: Hitting the wall is more than just an urge to stop running. It’s when your body’s run out of fuel and you have to slow dramatically,or even stop, as a result. This can happen to the fittest, most experienced runners.
The myth: You can eat what you like when you’re training for a marathon without gaining weight.
The reality: The average marathon-runner is running around 40 miles a week during training – that means you require an additional 4000 calories. That’s the equivalent of eight roast dinners or 750g of Dairy Milk, or two large stuffed-crust meat feast pizzas. So there’s a limit.
The myth: It’s best to drink lots of water just before the race
The reality: Don’t do it, unless you want to be peeing roadside à la Paula. Your hydration should start days before. Drink a little about half an hour before the gun goes, then drink little and often as you’re going ‘round.
To book a session or to find out how Laura can help you get into shape, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or call her on 07712 001525.