Experts warn London Marathon runners not to ‘do a Jedward’

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By Creative Media News

Marathon running is without a doubt one of the greatest achievements of human endurance.

As they push their bodies to the edge, athletes endure sore muscles, dehydration, cramping, and chafing. Despite the extreme rarity, some runners have perished from sheer exertion.

Consequently, participants in London’s premier event, which begins in just two days, have spent months meticulously preparing their bodies and mind for the monumental challenge that lies ahead.

Experts warn london marathon runners not to 'do a jedward'
Experts warn london marathon runners not to 'do a jedward'

However, not everyone adheres to such an exhaustive training regimen.

Runners claim to have mysteriously completed the 26.2-mile course with no training whatsoever.

In 2012, Irish musical duo Jedward (John and Edward Grimes) completed the Los Angeles Marathon in under four hours and infamously stated that they never bothered to train prior.

David Bedford, the previous race director of the London Marathon, reportedly signed up for the 1981 race a few hours beforehand while in a bar.

Although Mr. Bedford completed the course with a stomach full of curry, he was filmed vomiting midway through. Later, he joked that “everything wound up on the train track.”

Londons prestigious
Experts warn london marathon runners not to 'do a jedward'

James Argent of TOWIE, on the other hand, shed around three pounds after a rigorous six-week training regimen preceding the 2012 London Marathon.

It took him almost six hours to complete the marathon, and he was startled by how much agony he was in afterward, which caused him to cancel his post-marathon clubbing plans.

In the meantime, comedian Eddie Izzard trained for five weeks before his 2009 marathon. However, he was not satisfied with completing just one; he ended up completing 43 of them in 51 days.

But is it sensible or just foolish to put your body through the arduous effort without first using a treadmill?

With runners preparing for Sunday’s London Marathon.

According to Professor Kieran Clarke of the University of Oxford, a specialist on diet and physical performance in athletes, it is entirely possible to run a marathon without training.

However, there is a significant caveat: you must be physically fit.

Using an Olympic rower as an example, she stated, “An athlete who is accustomed to endurance activity will likely be all right.”

They might cause a slight amount of muscular injury.

However, if they are accustomed to engaging in endurance exercise frequently, they can easily go from one form of exercise to another.

The twins used to represent Ireland in cross-country running contests, which may have contributed to their success in the LA marathon.

However, the situation is drastically different for those who never exercise.

“For a sedentary individual, it would be a catastrophe,” Professor Clarke warned.

First and foremost, they could rupture muscles, overheat, and collapse.

Nothing that prepares you for exercise would be effective. They would likely be unable to finish the first mile.

Professor Clarke, who has spent decades on the subject of exercise, stated that a person who is physically fit due to their occupation may run a marathon.

She continued, ‘They would likely have to run multiple times per week and be able to run at least two miles without becoming out of breath.

Some young people might be able to do it with a few weeks of preparation, depending on their health, fitness, and previous exercise routines.

Before running a marathon, Dr. Darren Player, lecturer in musculoskeletal bioengineering at University College London (UCL) and certified personal trainer, suggests at least 16 weeks of training.

He is the co-author of the book ‘LA ULTRA: cOuch to 5, 11 & 22 km in 100 days, which, like Joe Wicks, offers practical advice on how to transition from a sedentary lifestyle to one that incorporates running.

He proposes that people should prepare for a 5K, or roughly one-eighth of a marathon, before attempting a full marathon.

Then, over the course of three months, they should gradually increase their distance, similar to those undergoing exposure therapy to overcome a phobia.

He stated, “You would have to be exceptionally well-trained to complete a marathon without specific preparation.”

One of the first fundamental concepts of sports science is specificity; you must train for the sport you intend to compete in.

In terms of distance, time, and needed level of fitness, a marathon is extremely specialized.

Even if you were a highly experienced cyclist, you might be able to endure a marathon, but it would likely be extremely difficult.

According to Dr. Player, muscles must become proficient at oxidizing fat as a fuel source. And if this does not occur, early weariness may set in.

Once the body has exhausted the rapid sources of fuel accessible to it throughout the marathon — carbohydrates stored as glycogen in the muscles — it is forced to turn to fat for energy.

Although running has a multitude of health benefits, including improved lung function and blood flow, as well as improvements in mood and anxiety, there are also clear drawbacks.

Even if you had the motivation to perform the arduous endeavor, you would be more likely to sustain an injury if you did not exercise.

Injuries to the ankle, knee, lower back, and foot are common if you have not developed a tolerance to repeated impact with the ground.

In extremely rare instances, abrupt cardiac death is possible. Cardiac arrest occurs when the organ’s electrical activity ceases completely, whereas a heart attack occurs when an artery that supplies blood and oxygen to the heart becomes clogged.

Exercising vigorously for an extended period can place your heart under stress, dramatically increasing the rate at which it pumps blood.

In theory, it can cease pumping if it is overloaded.

Combined with hot weather or undetected cardiac disorders, this could have grave effects, especially for those who are unprepared.

Dr. Player said, “I would always advise someone who is transitioning from a sedentary lifestyle to take things very gently and even visit a physician about their present health to determine if it is healthy for them to engage in this type of exercise.”

David Wiener, a London-based fitness and nutrition consultant, suggests that if you want to complete a marathon without incurring any injuries, you must train beforehand and adjust your diet.

Mr. Wiener stated, “You cannot run 26.2 miles without training or running experience.

If you intend to run a marathon, you should begin training approximately 20 weeks before the event.

To ensure that your body is in top physical form and that you have the stamina to run and finish the race, training for a marathon is more than simply running. You also need a strong nutrition plan and to supplement regular jogging with strength training.

The night before a marathon, most runners load up on carbohydrates by eating pasta, rice, and potatoes to give their bodies an edge.

The body converts the carbohydrates in food into glycogen, a kind of energy, which is then stored in the muscles and liver.

During a marathon, your body will utilize both glycogen and fat as fuel, but fat is more difficult to convert into energy. This is when the extra carbohydrates come in help.

Runners are frequently observed ingesting energy gels and drinks before and during races for the same reason.

Mr. Wiener said, ‘Before a marathon, your heart, muscles, stamina, stomach, and mind must all be prepared, and it is exceedingly risky to begin the race without doing so or adequately preparing.

‘Obviously, each individual is unique, and your training and diet plans should reflect this. Before doing a marathon, I would also suggest consulting an expert and getting a physical.’

Mr. Wiener, of the AI-based fitness and lifestyle coaching app Freeletics, suggests running frequently and adding strength training and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to increase your endurance.

Mr. Wiener stated, “The only way to improve your running ability is to run.” If your legs are not accustomed to running, a marathon will simultaneously hurt and strain your muscles, ligaments, and joints.

“Begin slowly, then each week strive for personal bests and greater distances.” After completing a half-marathon, it is time to begin training for a full marathon.

In addition, recovery and low-impact exercises including walking, Pilates, and yoga should be incorporated into your marathon preparation.

This year’s participants in the London Marathon appear to have already begun the tough preparation required.

Harry Judd, the drummer for McFly and winner of Strictly Come Dancing in 2011, has uploaded training photos and fundraising efforts for The Children’s Trust on Instagram.

Helen Thorn, a comedian and co-host of the podcast “Scummy Mummies,” is also participating in the challenge and raising funds for single mothers this year. Throughout the weeks leading up to race day, she has posted her running routes and fitness improvements.

Emon Choudhury, the winner of BBC Two’s Race Across the World, has just participated in the Bradford 10K and has been training for the marathon.

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