So, I was going to write a blog post about my ‘Top 10 Marathon Training Tips’ – but after looking online, the internet is FULL of them, so rather than just adding another generic list to the hundreds already out there, I thought I would take a different approach. So here are my 10 Reasons To Run A Marathon.
1. BRAGGING RIGHTS
There, I said it. Running a marathon is pretty fricking awesome, and don’t let anyone tell you differently. The first ever person that ran a marathon died doing so, and yet here we are centuries later putting ourselves through the ordeal, voluntarily, for fun! So yeah. You ran 26.2 miles and survived. BRAG AWAY!
Forget diamonds, forget dogs, carbs are a runners best friend! Carbohydrates will become a staple of every meal, and in no way should you feel guilty about that. Our bodies need it! So if anyone questions if you really need to eat a family size portion of pasta for dinner, tell them to shut up, and then throw bread at them (and feel free to eat that too, because you know, carb loading!)
3. NEW TRAINERS
You are going to be running A LOT of miles on the build up to the marathon, as well as the marathon itself. So it’s the perfect excuse to buy at least one new pair of trainers to get you through the training cycle. You’re welcome.
4. MORE ACTIVE WEAR
As above, a lot of sweaty miles means a lot of sweaty running gear. And if you think about, if you buy more, you are just saving the planet by not having to do as much washing! So really, its just best for everyone if you go and buy more running gear (or at least thats what you can tell your other half when you come home with ANOTHER new pair of shorts/leggings/vests)
5. EXTRA BRAIN POWER
For someone that has always struggled & hated maths, on my long runs I feel like some sort of mathematical genius. Working out splits, average pace and how long a run is going to take becomes a great distraction when you are out getting the miles in. It also becomes a fun game when you are driving, I always look at road signs and work out ‘how long would it take me to run that’ (I will warn you, this does get very frustrating when you get stuck in traffic and you realise you could have got there quicker if you had your trainers on!)
6. EVEN MORE EXTRA BRAIN POWER
Similar to Maths, running a marathon can also introduce a whole new glossary of words & phrases to your vocabulary.
MP*?! Threshold?! Tempo?! LSD**?! An easy way to confuse the muggles (non-runners) is by talking in code, these will soon become part of your every day language when training for a marathon, it can also make the standard Friday afternoon work conversation a bit more interesting…
‘Up to much this weekend then Carole?’
‘Not really, just having a quiet one and then getting my LSD in on Sunday – have a good one!’
** Long Slow/Steady Distance
Hate people touching your feet? I know I do! Well don’t worry, after training for a marathon, NOBODY will want to go near them ever again! Problem solved!
8. UNLEASH YOUR INNER GRANDMA/GRANDPA
Want to go to bed at 9pm on a Saturday night and not feel guilty/boring? GO FOR IT! You are working your body hard, and you need as much rest as you can get, and chances are you will probably need to get up early on Sunday for your long run anyway! So if your perfect Saturday night has gone from getting 241 cocktails to being in your PJs with a hot chocolate then just EMBRACE IT!
(Okay, being serious now)
9. IT MAKES YOU FEEL AMAZING
When you cross the finish line, I can almost guarantee you will feel about 5835284 different emotions at once. Yes you might be hurting, yes you might be tired, but as soon as the pain wears off and your brain processes what you have just done, you will feel like you have just won Gold at the Olympics!
No matter what your time, no matter how your race went, you will have still ran a marathon, and you will now be part of a very elite club of people that have done so!
10. IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE
To put it simply, training for a marathon will change your life. There is no doubt about it. Whether you decide to give up running after wards or continue and train for your next marathon (and that probably will happen – just to warn you!) your life will have changed for that period of time.
Yes there will be times it will be hard, and yes there will be times you question your sanity when you are out in the pouring rain, or dragging yourself out after another long day at work, but personally I don’t think there are many things that compare to achieving something you have worked really hard for.
Good luck to anyone who is running a Spring marathon in the next few weeks, whether it is your first or your 100th, you are all bloody awesome!