Faster! Faster! 加油!加油!

你的器材不支持播放多媒體材料

Image caption Would you run 26 miles non-stop?

Vocabulary: Emergencies 詞匯: 馬拉松

Have you ever thought about running a marathon? A friend of mine has started training for one, but the idea of completing 26 miles sounds daunting to me because it puts a lot of strain on the body.

First, Stephen went to his doctor to make sure he didn't have heart disease. When he was told he was fit enough to do it, my friend started running every afternoon. He's been increasing his distance gradually. All this training is helping him to build stamina. There's a whole ritual to follow in order to avoid injury. It's advisable to warm up and do stretches just before the race.

The biggest problem during the marathon seems to be dehydration. Experts say that on a hot and humid day we can lose up to four litres of fluid through sweating and exhalation.

Those who don't drink enough may suffer from heat exhaustion. It means they'll experience extreme tiredness because the loss of body fluids and salts after long exposure to heat can lead to a decrease in blood pressure.

Judy O'Sullivan, Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation, advises: "Events such as the marathon are a big physical undertaking so it's important that you train in advance, ensuring that you build up to the event steadily and safely. On the day of your event, remember to warm up, pace yourself and to rest if you feel pain or discomfort."

According to experts, a month before the race, a prospective marathon runner should be able to go for 15 miles without feeling like collapsing. Well, Stephen is close to achieving this, though he still gets breathless.

I'm proud of my friend's effort, but I miss our afternoons drinking beer, eating pub food and watching football. He said running a marathon is all about endurance and commitment. I asked him if he'll give up running if he doesn't do well in next year's London Marathon. He said if he doesn't make it this time, he will keep trying. Good on him! I'll stick to my pints, thank you. Go Stephen! Go!