I love running, you may have gathered that from the almost 2,000 posts I’ve now done on RunToTheFinish about running and of course, you know I’ve run 8 marathons and coached many others through their first marathon.
Which could leave you scratching that sweaty ponytail head of hair as to why I’d be telling you NOT to run a race…so hang with me on this, you’ll see I might just have a few things you need to really consider.
ANNNNNND NO I’m not telling you that running a marathon is bad for your body. We’ve busted that myth already, so watch my talk on that again if that’s your fear.
Fall is the PEAK time for marathons and it feels like every runner is doing a marathon, which creates a concern that not doing one makes you less of runner.
I find myself falling in to this mindset when I talk about training for a half, even though that’s the season I’m currently in with my goals and post injury.
My long run was 10 miles, but compared to those doing 20 miles, suddenly I feel like I’m really slacking by only doing a half…. BUT every race has it’s own goals and you have your own reasons for running those races.
9 Reasons Not to Run A Marathon
Here are my top reasons NOT to let FOMO influence your decision to sign up for a marathon:
Don’t run a marathon because you think that’s a requirement to be a runner.
If you run, you are in fact a runner. A real runner isn’t about pace or distance, it’s a mindset.
Don’t run a marathon if you don’t want to!
It’s a lot of work if you don’t already enjoy running a 1/2 marathon. Trust me once you’re out there, it doesn’t feel like simply twice as long, it feels longer. You need to truly want this to commit to the training time and enjoy the experience.Don’t run a marathon if you’re already over committed in other areas of your life.
It takes time to do it and not get injured. <<— not getting injured requires doing more than running! Busy people train for marathons all the time, so it’s not impossible, but really look at your life and be honest about how much time you can and want to give to it right now.
Don’t run a marathon to lose weight. The unfortunate truth is that most first time marathon trainees gain weight because the body wants more calories due to increased activity and you justify those delicious ooeey gooey fresh from the oven cookies based on your new mileage.
Plus I shared with you a killer story from my friend Tara who got her 6 pack abs by stopping marathons that she no longer enjoyed and finding new workouts. Don’t run a marathon if you need to have pretty feet for a photo shoot.
I’ve never lost a toenail, but I think I’m one of the lucky few..I do however have calluses and blisters. And honestly, in general, a lot of marathon training just isn’t glamorous! It’s looking exhausted after your first 18 mile run and walking sideways downstairs after a race because it hurts to go any other way.
Don’t run a marathon if you have to ask someone “how long is this marathon?”
Of course it’s your first and maybe you’re new to running, but you need to have been running long enough to have a small concept of 26.2 miles.
Don’t run a marathon if your social life is KEY to your happiness and none of your friends are runners.
It becomes harder as the miles grow to go out for late night fun when you’re Saturday is going to start 5AM! Additionally, you are going to TALK about running non-stop and need people who won’t throttle you for it.
Don’t run a marathon if you’re having health issues…it won’t make them better.
Marathon training can weaken your immune system without the right plan, coach and nutrition. While it could help you lose weight and strengthen your heart, if you have adrenal fatigue or other major issues this just isn’t the time. BUT you can run, checkout Low Heart Rate training.
Don’t run a marathon if you don’t enjoy running!!!
Listen I’ve shared my story, which is similar to many others, that I didn’t love running right from the get go, but clearly now I can’t live without it. Soooo FALL in love with running first because you’re going to be spending way more time than you know doing it, thinking about it and talking about it.
Of course the flip side of all of this is the reasons that we do run marathons:
- Pride in the achievement
- Learning that we can do more than we believe
- Experience new places
- Connecting with other runners
- Challenging ourselves in new ways
- Because we really do love the run
It’s been a few years since my last marathon and part of me is craving the challenge again, but honestly I’m also trying to be honest with myself about what is driving that need.
Is it really because I want to run 26.2 miles or is it because every weekend I’m watching my friends crush long runs or crush PR’s and it makes me feel like I SHOULD. Once I know it’s for me again, you’ll likely hear me announcing a registration!
And once I click register, you can bet I’ll be reminding myself of what’s to come with these 22 No B.S. Marathon Training Truths!!!
Have you ever run a marathon?
Do you feel pressure to do a marathon?
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