10 Benefits of running a Half Marathon
The half marathon is one of the fastest growing running distances, which includes a range of new races worldwide. There are numerous reasons why you should run this race distance. If you are still in dilemma about whether or not to try a half marathon, take a look at the main benefits this race has to offer.
1. You will burn lots of calories
As you probably know, the half marathon is a running event of 13.1 miles (21.0975 kilometers), so training for this race requires a lot of effort. It will turn your body into a “calorie-burning machine.” However, if you really want to lose weight, you should make sure that you will not overcompensate for the lost calories after running. Therefore, you must know your daily and weekly calorie needs. For example, if you are running 14 miles each week, you are losing approximately 1400 calories a week. You need to cut down about 300 calories per day (i.e. 2,100 calories a week) in order to get to a deficit of 3,500 calories. This way, you will lose around one pound per week.
2. You will get motivated to run
Most runners are capable of running out the short race distances with little training, such as a 5K for example. On the other hand, half marathon requires serious training and most of the runners have a hard time to get through this race without a proper preparation. Long-distance running is a big mental challenge, since it is a test of fitness and strength. If you want to successfully run an upcoming half marathon, it is going to keep you motivated all the time during your training schedule.
3. You will experience a number of health benefits
Besides helping to maintain or lose weight, training for a half marathon also offers a lot of other health benefits. This training is going to strengthen your heart among others. It minimizes the risk of a heart attack and cardiovascular disorders by ensuring the efficient flow of oxygen and blood throughout the body. Furthermore, running will help you naturally reduce the level of cholesterol and blood pressure as well. In addition, it can also enhance your immune system, helping your body fights more efficient and effective against the germs.
4. You will enhance your training structure
If you like following the working schedules, you will surely love half marathon training, too. You will have to follow the certain training schedule every day in order to see what is next you should do – whether it is cross training, running workout, or taking a rest. To make progress toward your ultimate goal, you will need to add a slightly more distance into your running schedule each week.
5. You will travel to new destinations and discover new running routes
By participating the half marathons in various cities and countries, you will discover new places and see a wide range of local areas in the race. Therefore, it is a good excuse for people who love traveling to visit the new destinations. The half marathons mostly get discounted expenses on hotel rooms, transportation, food, and other travel costs. As you will be doing a long run, half marathon training is going to force you to look for the new running routes appropriate for this kind of training.
6. You can support numerous worthwhile causes
There are many half marathons which benefit a variety of worthwhile causes and charities alike through the charity running groups. It will keep you motivated to train for a half marathon and make your efforts more meaningful when you know that you will run for something humane.
7. You will meet other runners and make new friends
Training within a group has a lot of benefits, including creative stimulation, safety, improved performance, and expanded social circle. Luckily, there are plenty of running clubs and groups that offer training for a half marathon. During the race, you can meet other people and make some new friends – whether it is running in the race, standing at the starting line, waiting at the porta-potties, or celebrating after the race. This way, you will bust boredom and have a better sense of community.
8. You will get a medal or prize
Among others, the point of each half marathon is to get a little prize for your efforts — whether it is a medal, finishing photo, or a shirt — which will remind you of your accomplishment. Many half marathon races offer decent rewards. Besides the medals, you can pick up the technical running shirts, or get some running gear samples and freebies. It is very important for a motivation boost.
9. Half marathon helps with stress relief
As every form of exercise, running is a great cure for emotional strains and mild depressions. While running a half marathon, your body produces a large amount of endorphin ( the feel-good hormone), which can help you relieve stress and boost your mood. In general, people who run marathons live a stress-free life.
10. You will have lots of boasting rights
Despite the fact that the half marathon is more and more popular around the world, only a small number of people is able to complete this race. Once you reach the finish line in this race, you can join an elite group of half marathoners and have a lifetime of boasting rights.