Day after day, our medical team at Cardiogenix encourages each and every patient to become proactive when it comes to their health and find an activity that keeps you living a “Long, Strong and Happy Life”. What better way to drive home that point than to lead by example. Our team decided to do something, something big to follow their own advice regarding health protection. “Why not run a marathon?” The idea came jokingly last year, and soon became a reality after one member decided to sign up. Personal goals quickly became team goals and soon enough the entire team found themselves signed up to tackle a marathon. Not only did we decide to run a marathon, we chose to do the biggest one in Montreal. Now, fast forward a year, we were ready for our second race, making it an annual goal of ours. The 2015 Marathon – our second time out as a team: we’re a larger group, a more prepared group, and more determined than ever to challenge our last year’s selves.
The race was not far away, so we started training as a team, slowly increasing our distance with every new session. In the last couple of days leading up to the race it was time to rest, let our bodies recover and be at our best. The night before the run, we got together to eat a carbohydrate-rich meal, such as pasta, potatoes and fruit. The next morning we felt ready and the scene was perfect, sun shining on a cool day, beautiful scenery and a group of motivated individuals who were in the process of leading a healthy lifestyle. We made our way to the starting line after briefly doing some dynamic stretching. We were ready.
We all met up together at the finish line exhausted, but all smiles. We felt accomplished in achieving our goal. We did it, and we did it together. Our legs sore, our bodies in need of a rest, but the mind invigorated, motivated and happy. Those moments of fatigue and soreness were all worth it to get that feeling you get when you cross the line, and to know you took the initiative to be the one in control of your health. “The marathon was an absolutely amazing experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat, as a matter of fact I will do it again” – Ashok Oommen, MD, CM, CCFP. At the end of the day we even had enough energy to pose for one unforgettable picture. What an experience.
From our fantastic experience we gathered a few helpful tips to keep in mind if ever you decide to take part in a marathon.
Nothing is worse than training endlessly in the last few days leading up to the race only to exhaust all of your energy in the first couple of kilometers. You’re in it for the long haul so test your limits, but at the same time, know them so you can get to that so desired finish line.
Visualize your success and think positively.
In the nights leading up to the race, picture yourself crossing the finish line before going to bed. Visualize your foot crossing the finish line. Strive for that personal best and never doubt yourself. Use words like “I can do this” and “I’m almost there”.
You don’t want to succumb to an injury on the big day, so make sure to do a very light warm up to get your muscles and joints on the same page as your mind.
Drink. Drink. Drink.
Take advantage of the re-hydration stations along the run. Refueling the body is key to pushing through those last couple of kilometers. It is also very important to run a healthy run where you are not compromising the body.
Distract your mind.
Listen to music to motivate you and keep your mind off the run. Even talking to yourself about unstressful things in your life, can help get your mind off of the pain in your legs. By doing so, your legs will just keep going one after another, like a machine, and your breathing patterns will become consistent and controlled.
Probably the most important thing is to have fun. Try and enjoy your run. Do it with a running partner or friend to help motivate each other and share the moment together.
Is Running a Marathon right for you?
Well for some people it might not be. Marathons and running in general are very physically demanding and there are a few health risks associated with doing them. Make sure to speak with your doctor if you’re thinking about participating in a marathon or starting any exercise program. Another physical activity might be better suited for you.
Good luck on your future running endeavors and be safe!