Guest Author - Carla Cano
Walking is very beneficial for your health both physically and mentally. When you are healthy, you are happier. Motivation is key to sticking with any fitness routines. When some people need a little extra motivation they start looking for a charity walk or walk/run marathons in their local or surrounding areas. Walking for something specific outside of yourself makes it seem more important. Often we put others before ourselves and when we are walking in honor of a loved one or a cause dear to our heart it seems to motivate us for a longer time than when we walk for ourselves.
There are many different organizations that put together walk/run marathons to increase awareness and/or as a fundraiser to fund their cause. There are many different cancers walks, with breast cancer awareness in the forefront presently. There are walks that aid in awareness for diabetes, autism, MS, birth defects, and more. There are walks by large and small organizations throughout the year. There are fun walks full of zombies and even colorful walks that bomb you with tie dye colors. If you search the internet using “city, state + walk marathon”, you will find results to many events in your local area for your first walking marathon. Once you decide which event you want to walk in, there are a few things you need to do to get ready for the big day.
Preparing for the Big Day
Most events have a registration fee of $15.00 or more to participate. Many organizations encourage group sign ups for a different registration fee. If you want to walk as a business group or as a family in honor of someone this is a perfect solution. So first you need to know how and when to register. The second thing you need to do is start training. If you are a couch potato at the time of registration realize it is going to take you some time to get marathon ready, even for a 5K. Set up a walking program and stick to it. Third, know what the route of the walk/run is going to be. If possible start walking the route to familiarize yourself with the terrain. Training for a marathon can be fun and exciting, knowing you are walking for something bigger than yourself is a huge motivator.
The night before the marathon make sure you get adequate rest. Be sure you to eat a high carb, high protein dinner to help you have the strength to finish the marathon. Show up early to get registered and to get a good spot in the lineup the day of the event. Most importantly pace yourself. Whether you are walking a 3K or a full marathon, it is important to save some energy to get you through to the end. The day of the marathon will be exciting and busy, keep hydrated and remember to take one step at a time.
A wonderful thing about walking for a cause is the whole family can participate, whether they walk or not. They can donate to the cause, they can help keep you motivated to participate, they can be your cheerleaders as you get through the route, it truly can be a family event. It is easy to get excited about walking when you can see that it is tied to something bigger.