Both training and completing a marathon improves the health of a new runner’s arteries, a new, London-based study suggests. The study looked at 138 novice runners undertaking the London Marathon. The results – four years improvement in artery age 🙂
Over six months of training:
- their arteries regained some youthful elasticity, which has a positive impact on the risk of heart attacks and strokes
- their blood pressure fell as much as if they were on medication
Those who were the least fit beforehand appeared to benefit the most.
Training for a marathon
- check in with your GP if you have any pre-existing health conditions
- start at least 6 months before a marathon
- invest in a good pair of comfortable running shoes
- begin each session with warm-up (at least 10 minutes) and finish with a cool-down
- gradually increase your running distance and difficulty (flat vs. hills)
- find a buddy to train with – this helps motivation and adds to the fun
- have rest days between runs to allow joints and muscles to recover and strengthen
In addition to the physical training, check in with a professional to assess your nutrition and hydration. These two considerations can make or break your training and event day – adequate in take of micro- and macro-nutrients, timing of carbs vs. fats and protein, and ensuring adequate (but not too much) hydration are all crucial to successful training regimens and the all-important event day.