By Dr Sudip Chakraborty, M.D (Medicine)

In continuation with my previous three articles on marathon, this one is the last of the series. It feels great to see increasing number of joggers at Marina Park early in the morning. It is like marathon is in the air.

If you live in a place for long enough, you become the place. It happened with me. Being a third generation son of these islands, I am witnessing a sea change in the attitude of Islander’s especially inadequate physical activity and rise in cardio vascular diseases that include diabetes. Therefore, these articles are aimed for a change in habits, however small it might appear. No amount of kudos will be enough for Andaman chamber of commerce for organizing a event which has the potential of transforming health and saving the loss of man days because of ill health.

So here follows the ten points;

1) Have a pacer. Pacer is a friend or known person who runs for some distance during various stages of race. They are invaluable source of motivation and keep you from quitting.

2) Keep as many relatives and friends at as many points of marathon route with juices, coconut water etc so that you are well motivated and encouraged. Moreover, in this process invariably you will some inspire some of your friends to run the race next time.

3) Try to keep your mouth moist by sucking some gum or toffee. It fools the brain that you are well hydrated and postpones tiredness to some extent.

4) Keep your eyes fixed to the ground beneath and try to run on a straight line. You will have fewer distractions and won’t know how many people has crossed you, thus saving your ego from getting hurt.

5) Pain is inevitable except for seasoned runners. So don’t be surprised and take it on your stride.

6) Brisk walking is more strenuous than slow jogging. It hurts tendon achillies and heel of foot.

7) Conserve energy, probably the most important thing by less talking, going slow and at sustained manageable pace and avoiding mouth breathing as much as possible.

8) Match your breath with the sound of your footsteps. Develop a rhythm and concentrate on it. In no time, you will see the finishing line.

9) Read motivating books on long distance running like ultra marathon man by Dean Karnazes , runners world guide , Lure of long distance etc.

10) Finally some powerful quotes to keep your mind from going astray;

a) Pain is temporary and regrets forever.

b) What counts in a battle is what you do when the pain sets in.

c) Success seems largely a matter of hanging on when others have let it go.

d) That which does not kill you, will make you stronger.

e) He, who suffers, remembers.

f) If you are going through hell, you rather keep going. There is not much scenery to look around.

g) Second half of marathon separates boys from men and girls from women.

So here is wishing all the marathoners good luck. A reward of higher self-esteem, self-respect and mind expansion is waiting for you. Go and earn it.