Since 1990, there has been over 140% increase in marathon finishers in the United States (Running USA), which is really no surprise to us. Running is low maintenance, just about anyone can do it and it can be done from almost anywhere. It’s also a way to relieve stress, get healthy, and support a cause you’re passionate about.
How do you know you’re ready for a 26.2 mile race? Answer the following questions to get an idea.
If you’ve been running consistently for about a year and can comfortably run 20-25 miles in a week, chances are you have developed enough strength and resiliency needed to complete a marathon training program. It’s common for injury to crop up when an individual goes from not running to jumping head first into a marathon training program. Not that it can’t be done, but for some of us, too much too fast leads to overuse and other types of running injuries that can sideline you for the season.
It’s hard to explain, but somehow logical mathematics do not always apply when it comes to running. For instance, 13.1 x 2 does not really equal a 26.2 mile endeavor, but completing a half marathon or two does in fact provide invaluable experience in terms of preparedness and race day knowledge. If you feel completely destroyed after a half marathon, it might be a sign you need a few more months to build up your base.
Marathon training isn’t just a few mid-week runs and a long weekend run. It involves weekly strength training, interval training and also incorporates yoga and cross training, anywhere from 7-10 hours a week. If there are several other things in your life demanding your attention or stressing you out, it’s something to think about. Sure, running can relieve stress, but it can become stressful if you’re constantly shuffling things around to fit in your 2+ hour training runs and workout sessions.
During training you’ll experience soreness and fatigue, you’ll question yourself and your purpose for the commitment. If you lack the confidence in yourself going into the training, the thought giving up might be enticing. And no one wants to give up. Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” We can attest to that.
This ties in with the preceding paragraph. Your purpose for doing this will hold a bit of weight when the going gets tough–and most likely, it will get tough. Maybe your reasons for completing a marathon are personal, maybe the feat is on your bucket list, maybe you want to prove to yourself you’re capable, or maybe you’re raising money for a charity whose mission you care about. If your friends had to drag you into it, you might not have the intrinsic motivation to get yourself out of bed at 5am on a Saturday morning for an 18 mile run, or better yet, at 5am for 12 miles before a long day of work. Completing a marathon is a huge accomplishment, but if your heart isn’t in it, the effort and commitment might overwhelm you down the road.
Ready to train for a marathon? Runwell coaches provide customized marathon training programs, and our active social network of runners will provide plenty of support and advice along the way.