I’ve gotten a number of questions about how and why I decided to run a marathon. Usually, when people are thinking about a marathon, one of their first comments is “oh I’m not sure if I could do that.” The thing is if you’d like to run a marathon, you can!
Here’s the thing about running a marathon. The race is hard (the hardest thing I’ve ever done) but it’s the training that is the biggest challenge. After running two (and a half, kinda) marathons, these are the things I think you should consider if you are asking yourself if you should run a marathon:
- Do you have the time to devote a few hours to running each weekend? This was the biggest challenge for me. I got used to it, but running double digit miles each weekend takes up time. And recovering from running double digit miles (especially when you are running 16, 18, 20+) takes quite a bit of time as well. I got used to waking up with the sun each Saturday morning to run.
- Are you prepared to change your social life a bit to accommodate your running? This looks differently for everyone, but for me, it meant that I pretty much didn’t go out on Friday nights during marathon training. I wouldn’t drink on Friday nights either (not that that was a huge adjustment, but it sometimes stunk) because I always wanted to be as clearheaded as possible before running for 2+ hours Saturday am.
- Do you have training partners? For me, this was huge. I never would’ve made it through this winter without my training group. You might not like running with others, but I would urge you to consider trying it for your long runs. Running for hours alone every weekend can be very taxing and it’s more fun if you have others to commiserate with! Plus, everyone gets a bit crazy during points in marathon training and having folks you understand your crazy is key. 🙂
Those are three things that I think everyone should think about before signing up for a marathon. Obviously you should examine your fitness level and all those good things (maybe get a physical, too!), but I imagine you’re all thinking about that already.
Ran a marathon? What else do you think folks should consider before they sign up?