Training For A Half Marathon
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Training For A Half Marathon

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The legend stated that he ran the full distance from Marathon to Athens without stopping, then died immediately after.

Centuries later, when the modern Olympic games were being created, the games' organizers were looking for an idea for a unique event that would capture the elite athleticism that the competition represented.

The memory of the run from Marathon was revived and an approximation of the distance that Pheiddippides was said to have run was used in the creation of the race. Over the first few marathon races that were run, athletes engaging in a marathon training program could not be certain of the exact distance that they needed to prepare for, but organizers did not seem to mind because as long as everybody was running the same distance, what mattered was who came in first.

But as records started to be kept and athletes started to show interest in improving times and setting world record paces, the Olympic and athletic organizers recognized that a standard needed to be established, and they settled on the distance that was run in the 1908 Olympics.

Marathon Length in Miles

The official length that was established for all marathon races is 26.2 miles, which translates into 42.195 kilometers. Since those early days, the race has changed dramatically; at first women were not permitted to participate, but that changed in recent years, and today many of the races include wheelchair participants.

As the races have become more popular and accessible, many people who have become involved do so less for the athletic achievement then the ability to say that they have conquered a seemingly insurmountable feat.

In order to accommodate this group yet keep the organization of a race under control, many marathons have established restrictions on the maximum amount of time that can be taken to complete a race; these times are usually generous, designed to allow people who walk the distance to complete it.

Marathon Length Race

Because the length of a marathon is so long, it is important that runners train for it using a good marathon training plan. There are a variety of different plans available, each designed with different levels of experience, athletic ability and time frames in mind.

Some stress adding as many miles as possible to your weekly running distance in order to build up endurance and strength, while others present a plan that has fewer running days mixed in with cross training that balances strength but provides recovery. Whichever plan you choose, the most important thing is to be consistent and diligent in your training.

Marathon Length

With over five hundred different marathon events run internationally every year, and more constantly being added, the race has become the gold standard for runners around the world.

Although at one time it was thought of as the pinnacle, an unreachable goal for all but the world's most elite endurance athletes, marathon programs have made the race accessible to all who want to attempt it, and running in a marathon has become a sort of badge of honor for those who want to prove that they can surmount all obstacles.

This history of the marathon itself is quite interesting, with a fair amount of controversy existing as to the veracity of the legend of the marathon's origin.

The race's official length was only officially determined until 1921, when the International Amateur Athletic Federation decided to utilize the race length that had been used in the 1908 Olympics; the marathon length has been fixed ever since.

Marathon Length Origins

This history of the marathon race begins with the legend of Pheiddippides, who was said to be the messenger who delivered news of the Greek victory over the Persians in the battle of Marathon. Continued below….