This 2015 the calendar for marathons in the United States and Canada total 753 events with 544 of them being certified by USTAF or Athletics Canada. This is more than the number of events held last year which means there are a lot of opportunities for you to hone your skills in running a marathon and finishing well by the end of the year. To do this, you need to have the right marathon equipment because what you wear will have a direct bearing on how you perform during the run.
The Advantages of and Misconceptions about Compression Garments
Compression garments are clothing used to prevent cramps, swelling, rashes, stiffness, and generally improve poor circulation. It became popular among athletes after a study showed that it can prevent soreness or hamstring injuries after a game. The benefits of using compression garments include faster muscle relief, improved oxygenation, and reduced muscle pain. These garments can be bought as underwear, shorts, tights, socks, or shirts and are commonly made of Spandex. They are now being used instead of jockstraps or with jockstraps. Runners who use compression socks were tested on a treadmill study and ran faster by 6%. Sprinters who use compression socks have also claimed to experience less soreness by as much as 43%.
The All-Important, Proper Running Shoes
Did you know that according to Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise running shoes with extra padding has a higher risk for foot injuries than regular running shoes? On the other hand, running experts disagree and say that fat soles are better for marathons. Thin soles, also known as minimalist running shoes, were deemed better for running because it reduced the risks of chronic injuries from the impact of the foot, especially the heel, on cushioned shoes. It was a trend that started in the late 20th century because coaches believed that running bare improves a runner’s balance and prevents feet stress although this has never been proven scientifically.
Today, the general consensus among professionals is to wear the shoes you are most comfortable with. And if you are past a certain age, the cushioned shoes are better because it protects the knees. In addition, in defense for plush and cushioned running shoes, Dr. John Conners, the podiatrist for the US Olympics team and some of the world top runners, says that running on hard surfaces like cement or asphalt will stress your Achilles tendon because as you hit the ground, you are putting 4 times your body weight on your feet. He further says that runners in their 30s and 40s need to be careful because their knee cartilage is wearing thin so the less load on the knee, the less one is prone to injuries. He advices those who want padded running shoes to look for shoes where the padding is concentrated on the mid-foot area.
Understanding the Importance of Using the Right Marathon Gear
With the proper gear, marathon runners can expect less injuries during and after the run. Marathon runners will also enjoy improved comfort that will translate to a better time and finish. For example, suffering through a piece of garment that is chafing against your skin will probably cause you time if not prompt you to drop out of the marathon altogether.
Furthermore, statistics from the recently concluded New York Marathon reveal that age has nothing to do with the results of the race. More important than age are the gear used and condition of the runners. According to the finisher demographics of the NYC Marathon, the highest number of finishers according to age bracket belonged to those aged 40 to 44, followed by those aged 35 to 39 and thirdly by those aged 45 to 49 – for both men and women. That’s a fantastic way to feel encouraged about investing in the right gear for your next (or first) marathon!