One of the main events in the Olympic Games is running. Both distance runners and sprinters from many nations compete for honor for themselves and their countries.
In ancient Greece, runners represented not nations, but the city-states of the Greek nation. Although these city-states had frequent disputes among themselves, they were usually able to come together for the Olympic Games.
The games were held as part of a celebration of the ruling god, Zeus. Mount Olympus was Zeus’ home, and the name came to be applied to the games held in his honor.
The first event in the games was a foot race. The distance the runners were required to go was only 600 feet.
Only men were allowed to compete in the Olympics of ancient Greece. Women did, however, have the opportunity to compete in games associated with a festival held in the honor of Zeus’ wife.
In both cases, victors in the footraces were given special awards and recognition. The same is true of the modern games.
The games were expanded over time to include more foot races that varied in distance. Boxing and wrestling were also added to the games.
Though often linked with ancient Greek history, the marathon was never part of the ancient Olympic Games. The event was introduced as part of the first modern Olympics, however, which were held in Athens, Greece.
One and a half thousand years interceded between the ancient and modern games, yet the purpose of both is relatively the same. Athletes today compete, just as their ancient counterparts did, for the glory and recognition that came from being victorious.
Aspiring Olympic athletes have a lot to live up to and can expect a rigorous and competitive training atmosphere. New records are set at each Olympic Games, and runners must be ready to push themselves to do even better.
In the United States there are three training facilities for those who are preparing to compete in the games. These facilities are located in Colorado, New York, and California.
The athletes that do train at these facilities have high standards to meet. This fact is especially true for those competing in track and field events.
The current mile event record is held by a runner from Morocco. His time is about 15 seconds under four minutes.
Most runners strive to be able to run a mile in four minutes. You might spend an entire running career only working on that goal.
Only intense physical training can prepare an athlete to make and break records. A runner will often have to focus his whole life on becoming the best, in order to even compete in the Olympic Games.
Such athletes find themselves completing a high school education through the mail or online. This is often necessary due to the frequent trips to events and moves to training locations that are required of an Olympic hopeful.
A runner who hopes for gold may feel that his life has been disrupted by his goals. He may even feel that running has become his life.
The young athlete who desires to be the best must sacrifice much for his sport. Thankfully, most are supported and nurtured by their families.
While you may not have it in your head to become the next gold medalist in the mile event, you can, and should have goals regarding your fitness. Running, either outdoors on a treadmill, is a great way to get into shape and to maintain your health.
Develop an exercise routine that both challenges you and motivates you to become better. Try to find an optimum balance between those two aspects.
Too little exercise will not yield the results you hope for, even over time. On the other hand, too much strain can damage your body rather than improve it.
Exercise should make you feel good. If you’re just starting a new routine, try only running a mile.
As your body gets used to running, you will be able to increase the distance you run and the pace at which you run. Set some reasonable goals for yourself.
Reaching these goals that you set for yourself will only serve to inspire to further improve. You may not end up at the Olympics, but you will still secure glory and healthy rewards for yourself. BOLA TANGKAS