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Should I run a marathon?

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     Don't be intimidated, it's just a number

So you’re thinking about running a marathon, why? Why the heck would anyone want to physically run 26.2 miles? That’s a long way to ride your bike. That’s even a long way drive your car. Just think for a moment about something that’s 26 miles away from your home… Now imagine running there. The marathon distance is not for everyone, but there are a few of us who smile when we hear the word ‘Marathon’.

Running a marathon is a major accomplishment for any runner. Just knowing that you can push your body through all the pain and exhaustion to finish a race of that distance will do wonders for your confidence. Whatever personal or physical obstacles you encounter from that point on, you can remind yourself that you ran a marathon, is that date or this interview going to be that much harder than running 26.2 miles? Hopefully not.

But lets not forget, this is not for everyone. An unfit or untrained runner attempting a marathon can result in a number of bad outcomes, including death. People dying at races are not uncommon. Ideally, you want to be a runner, obviously, and have some sort of base before planning this. Base referring to how many miles you can comfortably run without too much trouble. This should not be your next race after you finish your first 5k. Most people start thinking about a marathon after a 10-mile race or a half-marathon. That’s fine, assuming those weren’t too hard. Now here comes the hard part, training for it.

To be safe, and prepared, plan this out far in advance. Decide in the spring if you're going to try a marathon, most of the major marathons take place in the fall. At the very least, if you’re a pretty good runner, you could probably get by with 1 ½ or 2 months notice. You want your body to get used to the longer grueling runs. Bumping up your distance too much at a time is not a good idea. You’ll want to allow yourself enough time to get used to the distance without any injury or pains in the process.

If you are thinking about running a marathon, best of luck, it’s a great accomplishment for anyone who completes this distance. The season is slowing coming to an end, so the time to decide is right now. Waiting until next year may be a good option for some runners who aren’t quite there yet. Running is more than just running, especially when the distance is longer, you’d be surprised how much planning and strategy go into it. Just knowing what to eat that weekend and how much to drink, and how often, all factor into it. So be smart about this, do some serious planning and training before taking on a marathon. It will probably be the longest run of your life, but the feeling you’ll have after its over makes every second of it worth it.

 

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