Importance Of Physical Fitness In Marathon Runners
Running is one of the most popular sports and it is performed in various distances like long distances and short distances and there are also various other competitions as well as the events for the runners and the most popular one is the Marathon. Marathon is also an event in which different distances are measured long marathons and short distance marathons and the participants can participate in it accordingly. The question is why people run? In this study, the different marathon runners were asked questions related to the profession of running and what they answered was, they run to improve physical fitness, improve health or feel better. Few of them also said that they run to improve self-confidence, increase wellbeing, increased self-insight and self-discipline. Also, some of them stated that they run to challenge their health, fitness level, wellbeing, addiction, status, and social. Hence, running has several benefits associated with health. There are also disadvantages of running like injuries, some of the families also noticed the detrimental effect on their family and social lives (Joseph, 1993).
According to Knapik, “Physical Fitness can be defined as a set of attributes that allows the ability to perform physical activity (pg. no.2, 2015).” Physical fitness is very important for all athletes. Also, there are various components of Physical fitness such as cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular endurance, aerobic capacity, and Vo2 max, etc. all these components play an important role in maintaining and improving the physical fitness of an individual. In the article, the various components of fitness were identified by testing a large number of individuals by carrying out physical performance tests. The results that found and identified the different components were strong, muscular, and cardiovascular endurance as well as coordination. They also found that overactivity or overtraining of the muscles leads to fatigue and the fatigue alters the movement patterns, by which an individual will have more chance for injury (Knapik, 2015).
In the other article, the relationship between the anthropometric measurements and the prerace experience that is the training along with the training volume was studied. The various anthropometric measurements include weight, height, Body mass index, Percent body fat, limb circumference, and skinfold measurement. The results obtained were that the intensity of the training matters the most rather than the anthropometric measurements. That is the training intensity of the runners keeps on increasing as they get trained more and this is how important it is rather than the anthropometric measurements(Knechtle, 2010).
Not only the anthropometric measurements and the intensity of the training matters in marathon runners, but one of the other components measured and identified in another research article was, the vo2max. When the runners had to run at various distances, in the performance, the differences in the Vo2max were measured. As the running distance increases, the Vo2max measures keep on increasing in both males and females. Hence, the vo2max level keeps on increasing from 100 m to 300 m which shows greater importance of this parameter for training as well as for the selection purpose. Also, vo2max may be a good discriminator within a group of athletes showing a wide range of performances (Arrese, 2007). So, not only the anthropometric measurements are important but there are other factors too such as vo2max which plays an important role in marathon runners.
Physical activity enhances metabolic fitness independently as well as cardiorespiratory fitness. In the article, the importance of cardiovascular fitness is shown in comparison with physical fitness. The results were then analyzed and taken into the consideration. By being physically active, not only physical fitness increases but also cardiovascular fitness increases at a greater level. These will further lead to improved exercise metabolism and skeletal muscle level. As physical activity increases, the improvement in cardiovascular fitness also increases. As a result, there will be also a positive effect against metabolic diseases (Laye, 2015).
Due to the increase in the use of technology, there has been a significant decline in performing physical activity hence as a result, there is a decrease in physical wellbeing from the last few decades. To motivate and educate the people, the government legislations for health have published the guidelines for minimum physical activity requirement. This will help people to know the importance of exercising daily and its importance in improving physical wellbeing. As a result, there will be a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Various events like a marathon are also organized through which there will be an increase in the growing participation in marathon running. The results obtained showed that the highest benefits of reduction in cardiovascular diseases were achieved at a lower intensity of running while the benefits tend to get at a higher intensity of running (Burkule, 2016).
Two other components which are also important for physical fitness are Aerobic and Anaerobic parameters. These studies assess the relative contribution of both these parameters. Along with the body size, body composition, and running mechanics to run performance at 80, 1500, and 10,000. These parameters were taken in 29 male runners. They found in the results that, the anaerobic variables and mechanical variables decreased as the distance for the runners increased. At the middle distance, the success was influenced by several aerobic, anaerobic, mechanical, and body size and composition while vo2 max and to a lesser extent, height are the variables that influence the most success during the long-distance run performance (Brandon, 1987). Thus, these variables will also have a large impact on the runners when compared with the distance ran by the runner.
The other study revealed that Jumping capacity is also a part of physical fitness which needs to be improved. In this study, correlation is examined between the jumping fitness of highly skilled athletes like sprinters, weightlifters, runners, and many more with the untrained subjects between 21-25 years of age. These test helps to identify the specificity of the neuromuscular adaptation to various kinds of physical stress. To determine these stress, the three kinds of jumps were taken into an account such as Countermovement jump (CMJ), Squatting jump (SJ), and dropping jump which was to be performed on a force platform in the sequence. In the same way, these tests were performed by skilled athletes and the productivity was very high (Skurvydas, 1998).
According to the results obtained, the sprinters and weightlifters had the highest jumping capacity followed by the long-distance runners and then at last by the untrained subjects. Very low jumping capacity was shown by the cyclist, especially in the Countermovement jump (CMJ). An intermediate position was occupied by the skiers. Thus, it can be concluded that biomechanical adaptation of muscles to exercise in athletes of different specialization had greater importance to their jumping fitness rather than the physiological or the biochemical factors (Skurvydas, 1998).
Therefore, when determining the muscle contraction capacity, jumping fitness should be included and as a result force, rate, and amplitude should also be taken into consideration along with muscle stretching as this will identify the kinematic and kinetic characteristics of any movement (Skurvydas, 1998).
Lastly, the studies also showed that if the runner is not having any experience or the lack of training before participating in the marathon leads to different kinds of medical issues and injuries. The 25-week training program must be completed before participation. The different kinds of measurements included in the studies were running experience, training practices, demographics, chronic medical problems, and previous injuries. All these factors matter when the participant is participating in a marathon. The results indicated that training plays an important role to establish baseline fitness and educate an individual regarding injury prevention and set appropriate goals for the fitness. They also examined that, the participants who were injured were relatively untrained and inexperienced. Therefore, they need special care and targeted education (Chorley, 2002).
From the above articles, it can be stated that how important is physical fitness for an individual or the professional runner along with that several other variables and parameters are also important. Before participating in any marathon, long or short distance, it is very must and important to complete the training which will help in the prevention of injuries and other serious medical issues. Not only does the strength of the muscle matters nut the endurance and the flexibility of the muscle are also an important part of physical fitness.
The more physical fitness, the greater is the Vo2max capacity and improved cardiovascular health and reduced risks associated with the marathon, and fewer chances of chronic diseases. Also, there is an increase in the metabolism of the body along with physical fitness. Vo2 max is one of the most discriminant factors in identifying cardiorespiratory health. Coordination of the body movement is also an important parameter to analyze the physical fitness of an individual.
To conclude the above paragraphs, Physical fitness is one of the key factors and most important for athletes, especially for marathon runners. With the help of various anthropometric measurements, aerobic and anaerobic parameters, as well as vo2 max and jumping tests, have a very crucial role in physical activity. Thus, it is very important to remain fit.
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