WHEN Narelle Parker tells people she is getting back into running and has plans to complete a marathon this month, they seem surprised.
Ms Parker is breaking the distance into achievable blocks through October in the name of heart health.
Heart Foundation’s MyMarathon is encouraging people to complete a marathon distance at their own pace and in their own way though the month. Marathon contenders’ efforts will raise money and awareness in the fight against heart disease.
Ms Parker saw MyMarathon as a fun challenge to be physically active, spurred on by the motivation of running for a charity and all those who sponsor her.
“I try to do a little bit of running when I can. I haven’t done much in winter and this makes me accountable – I have to keep doing it,” Ms Parker said.
“Running makes me feel better. When I run, it can sometimes be easy to have negative thoughts fill your mind, but it’s easy to be motivated when it’s for a good cause and you don’t want to let down people who are donating for you.”
Regular physical activity helps to strengthen your heart and makes you less likely to have a heart attack or develop heart disease, according to Heart Foundation.
Physical activity also helps control other heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and being overweight. It can also help prevent and manage chronic conditions including some cancers, type two diabetes and depression.
Ms Parker plans to run about 10 kilometres each week on her way to clock up the required 42.2km. Her aim is to do this with a couple of 5km runs each week. Walks also count.
Each effort is posted on social media to keep check.
Ms Parker, who works long hours in an office, can hardly wait to get outside more as the weather is warming.
MyMarathon is a new goal for Ms Parker who likes training up for community runs like (the now-defunct) Run Ballarat and Wings For Life World Run, which features a catcher car as people run to raise money for spinal cord injury research.
Participants could start chalking up kilometres towards their marathons from Monday but there is still plenty of time to join in. Ms Parker said it was handy to know even doing a couple of kilometres would all add up and she could fit her fitness mission around her weekly schedule. More details: mymarathon.com.au.
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