Most runners follow a distance progression. They may start with a 5K or 10K then decide to go for 13.1. Some start at 13.1 but shy away from the dreaded 26.2. Then there are the serious crazy people who start at 26.2 or ultra marathons. Everyone's different and there is no right or wrong progression when it comes to the marathon. The hardest part of a marathon is registering. (DISCLAIMER: That's a slight exaggeration...) This is for all you runners who are trying to convince yourselves to sign up for a marathon:
Step 1: Make a Pro and Con List
There's a lot that goes into training for a marathon. It's a serious time commitment and you may have to shift around your priorities to prepare yourself for 26.2. From early morning long runs, to hill repeats and interval training, it's a good idea to start with a pro and con list if you find yourself sitting on the fence.
Step 2: Light Your Pro and Con List On Fire
Great! Now we know the pros of running a marathon but those cons? Most of those cons are just excuses. Anything is possible if it means enough to you. So let me ask you, what does running a marathon mean to you? Are you worried about the time commitment? Well let me tell you a story...last year I rode the bus to the start line of the NYC Marathon next to a man who was about to run his 12th NYC Marathon and was training for his 6th IronMan. He had a full time job in finance, a wife who also worked full time, a toddler, a newborn and they were in the process of adopting! He told me he wakes up every morning at 4AM to run, bike or swim. If it means enough to you, you make it work.
Step 3: Join A Charity Or Find Your People
Can you train for a marathon alone? YES! I trained for my first marathon all by myself so it can be done. But I've also trained for a marathon with a charity and friends and the experience was much more rewarding and that much easier the second time around. Why? Because you're surrounded by like minded people who all share the same goal. Your non-runner friends aren't going to understand why you paid money to run for hours and hours but your running friends do. It doesn't matter if you're running from something or for something, you all share that drive to cross that finish line. So try out different running groups or join a charity team. You will learn invaluable tips and tricks along the way, make lifelong friends and have a support system to drag you through those really shitty training runs.
Step 4: Just Do It
If you have even an itch to run a marathon, run a marathon. Why? (In no partciular order) Because...
- There will never be the "right time" to do it.
- There's nothing more rewarding than running a marathon.
- You'll push your limits and become the strongest you possible.
- You'll feel truly limitless.
- You'll find that pain really is only temporary.
- You'll change your entire outlook on life.
- There's no greater feeling than crossing the finish line.
- You get to escape from the world for 1-4 hours to just be.
- You'll hurt so good.
- You'll never look at yourself the same way again.
- You'll make friends you never knew you needed and become a member of one of the most welcoming and supportive communities in the world.
- You'll be unstoppable.
- But most importantly, you get to eat ALL THE FOOD! SEE!?!?!?! Look how many burritos you get to eat after you cross the finish line! (NOT TO MENTION AFTER THOSE LONG RUNS.)
So hop off that fence and register for a marathon already! Need a marathon suggestion? Come run The San Francisco Marathon with me! RunKeeper just unveiled training plans geared specifically for the SF Marathon so there are literally no excuses!
So what do you say? I'll see you in San Francisco! Until tomorrow, #RunSelfieRepeat.