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Info Plus: Marathon Prep Updated: 2006-02-13 12:00:00 KST

Info Plus: Marathon Prep
Info Plus, on Mondays, focuses on trends in leisure and recreation, as well as health.
Tonight, we're going to continue our discussion about losing those extra kilos.
I'm joined by Kim Du-yeon.

KIM DU-YEON, REPORTER: Hello, Chak-hee. Last week my colleague Sung Tae-kyung brought you a report on losing weight using Eastern medicine. Tonight, I'll be talking about a more conventional method - running.

AHN CHAK-HEE, ANCHOR: I hear we're headed for spring marathon season.

KIM DU-YEON, REPORTER: That's right. There's growing interest in the sport in Korea. And unlike the past, more younger generation runners, those in their 20s and 30s are getting into the race, especially women, and in particular married women. I met with a group of runners this past weekend who are engaged in a 12-week training program. They're preparing for next month's Dong-A Marathon. It's a full marathon which means they'll be running 42.195 kilometers to be exact.

RECORDED: "I didn't start by thinking I'd run the marathon. I was first looking for something that can be easily done and thought running would be the best thing, which eventually led me to run the full marathon. I'm shooting to complete the Donga Marathon within 3 hours and 20 minutes."

RECORDED: "My goal is to finish within 2 hours and 40 minutes. Since we are trained on the track by our coach, we're getting top-notch training. The hardest parts are speed and long-distance training."

AHN CHAK-HEE, ANCHOR: The runners we just saw talked about their target finishing time. Your second interviewee is aiming for 2 hours and 40 minutes. Is that good?

KIM DU-YEON, REPORTER: That's actually very good. He's a level one runner. There are basically four levels to a full marathoner.
Those in level one would finish in almost three hours to a little over three hours.
Level two and three would be almost four to a little over four hours.
And a level four runner would finish at either four-and-a-half hours or however long it takes to complete the course.
So both my interviewees, Lee Geun-hee and Chang Jun-young fall in the top levels.

AHN CHAK-HEE, ANCHOR: I'm sure preparing for a marathon can't happen overnight. What are some key points to keep in mind before the race?

KIM DU-YEON, REPORTER: Before I answer that, let's first hear from the group's instructor Bang Sun-hee who used to be a professional runner herself.

RECORDED: "The best part of running is that you can build a beautiful body because it's the most representative cardiovascular exercise. Also, running increases stamina and strengthens your immune system. When preparing for a race, it's important to build stamina by constantly exercising along with resting and getting lots of nutrients."

KIM DU-YEON, REPORTER: As you can tell, there really isn't anything special to preparing for a race.
But since the marathon is long distance running, you need to think long-term as well.
That means give yourself at least a year to prepare.

AHN CHAK-HEE, ANCHOR: A year? Sounds like quite a commitment if you ask me.

But it's important you don't hurt yourself.
If you're an athlete or are very athletic, then you may get by with just six months of training.
But Coach Bang strongly advises you take a full year so that your body can build the stamina needed to endure a long run.
And all it takes is running for about an hour-and-a-half, three to four times a week.

AHN CHAK-HEE, ANCHOR: Now viewers like myself may like the beautiful body, stamina, and enhanced immune system part, but say you're not too keen about actually running a marathon.

KIM DU-YEON, REPORTER: You don't have to be a gung-ho marathoner to get into shape, if that's what you're getting at. Just think 3-3-3.

AHN CHAK-HEE, ANCHOR: Three-three-three?

KIM DU-YEON, REPORTER: Yes. That's working out three times a week, thirty minutes a day, for at least three months.

AHN CHAK-HEE, ANCHOR: But there are times when you feel like those hours invested on the treadmill are just going nowhere. In fact, sometimes it seems the scale just keeps going up.

KIM DU-YEON, REPORTER: That's the most common problem and misconception when trying to lose weight.
First of all, you need to forget about immediate results, because weight loss is all about burning those fat cells, which means it'll take time.
The three months I mentioned in our 3-3-3 regimen means the fruit of your labor, if you will, will be noticeable AFTER three months.
So don't be so hung up over the numbers on the scale.
As you know, muscles weigh more than fat.
Even if your weight goes up, you may actually realize that your pants become a bit looser around the waist.
That's because you've trimmed the fat, and the "heavier" reading on the scale means you have built muscle mass.

AHN CHAK-HEE, ANCHOR: And of course, eating right is also very important.

KIM DU-YEON, REPORTER: That's right.
You should eat a good amount, you obviously don't want to overindulge.
Protein is good for muscle-building.
Good sources of protein include egg whites, lean meat and tofu.
What's interesting is that coach Bang recommended eating before and after a workout - two hours before, to give you the energy you need for the workout, and immediately after to replenish the spent energy.

AHN CHAK-HEE, ANCHOR: That is interesting, and I guess a way to answer the natural needs of your body.
Alright, Du-yeon, we seem to be running out of time.
Before you go, can you give us a wrap of some upcoming races?

As I mentioned, the Seoul International Dong-A Marathon is on March 12th, this is actually one of the most popular races.
There's the Gyeongju Cherry Marathon or cherry blossom race on April 8th.
And in May is the Women's Marathon.

AHN CHAK-HEE, ANCHOR: Okay. Thanks for the report. And now for a check of tomorrow's forecast, let's turn to Kim Young at the Weather Center.
Reporter :
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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