Common Myths about Marathons

Brittany Mock Headshot
By: Brittany Mock

Recently, marathon runners gathered in Staten Island to run the TCS New York City Marathon. We know that preparing for a marathon is a lengthy and enduring process that requires a lot of training and nutrition. Some people wonder what it takes to be a long-distance runner. It’s important for beginners to learn how to train and race the right way, and not fall into the common myths. There are several myths going around about how athletes get ready for a race or special event. The first myth is that carb loading is essential for energy and good results the next day. Experts say that it is not necessary to carb load the night before to win. However, it is just important to get the calories you need. The meal, or meals following up to your event are extremely essential for your performance. Your body can only store up to a certain amount of glycogen, so carb loading is not always effective. Another myth that many people think is true is that power bars, and energy gummies are what you need right before a race. This is not true either. Many of these packaged products contain more than what the body needs. With proper hydration and diet, supplementation of power bars or energy gummies are unnecessary. Additionally, many slow runners deal with hyponatremia, which is a decrease of sodium in the body from drinking too much water. Many runners drink more than they need because they think they must drink water at every station. It is essential to remaining hydrated during training but also right before the event. Water intake should increase with a rising temperature and increase in sweat production. Too much water in the body can lead to serious health issues, including death. The take home message is this: train hard and don’t take the easy way out!

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Reference:

  1. Mohney G. Sports Medicine Experts Bust Marathon Training Myths. ABC News. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/sports-medicine-experts-bust-marathon-training-myths/story?id=43227809. Published November 2, 2016. Accessed November 29, 2016.
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