Sport Relief: How do you run 27 marathons in 27 days?
The award winning comic and actor, Eddie Izzard, has recently finished running 27 marathons in 27 days for Sports Relief.
The feat, however, has taken its toll. While he has attempted similar acts before (he ran 43 marathons in 51 days in 2009, for example), 27 marathons in as many days can unsurprisingly inflict damage on your body..
Illnesses and visits to hospital have blighted an otherwise phenomenal achievement, but the former Oceans Eleven and Valkyrie star, pushed on.
While running is undeniably a great exercise to keep muscles in shape and the body toned, excessive amounts or even poor technique could be damaging.
In terms of benefits, you see the most when considering short distance running as opposed to long distance. It has been known to help with depression, decrease the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, and also strengthen limbs and bones. Marathon running on the other hand, can be a massive source of fulfilment, and time spent training is almost certainly better for you than time spent at fast food restaurant counter.
However, the truth is that humans were not made to sustain high and endured levels of impact on their knees and legs. Special shoes and accessories can help alleviate the problems that come with it, but long distance and marathon running can still generally lead to loss of bone density, tendonitis and even osteoarthritis.
Here are the tips that most physiotherapy or orthopaedic professionals would recommend if you are interested in taking up running, or looking to run longer distances:
Stretch before and after: People run for a bus or to get out of the rain, so you might not even consider running to be that strenuous. However, stretching before and after running is vital. Walking lunges, side stretches and stork stretches are recommended – and for every ten minutes you plan on running, stretch for two minutes before hand.
Prepare for chaffing : Make
sure you prepare with a special sports bra or petroleum jelly, as the
nipples in particular are one of the areas most susceptible to this
chaffing, and can often lead to cuts and bleeding.
Training is key*: Small runs don't need much build up, however if you want to get more ambitious and run longer distances, you should be aiming to average forty miles a week for five to six weeks beforehand, according to professional runner Jeff Gaudette.
*But don't overtrain: If you start to lose your appetite, or you feel exhausted or ill, then make sure you take a couple of days off to recover. Recovery and looking after yourself is a much a part of the process as the running itself. Stay hydrated, eat a balanced diet, and get plenty of rest to make sure you're in the best state possible to resume your training.
You must be willing to make sacrifices: Practice can eat into your social and work time. Commitment is needed and a schedule is recommended to help incorporate your training into your everyday life, and get you into a running routine and/or training plan.
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