7 reasons to run a marathon in 2018
Playing around with the idea of running a marathon in 2018? Here’s why you should go for it!
A life experience
Marathon runners will tell you that their first marathon was one of the greatest experiences of their life; something that they keep thinking about and feel so proud of.
I was once at a marathon training weekend organised by the London Marathon. A panel of experts were giving advice to a large crowd of runners and this question was asked by the panel, “How many people here have run a marathon?” People raised their hands and then the panel asked this of those runners while their hands were still raised, “Lower your hand if it was not one of the top 5 experiences of your life”. No one lowered their hand. People then related their own experiences about how much it meant to them to finish or to run a certain time; how it was ‘up there’ with the birth of their kids… There was a real sense of pride in that room.
You know the training is going to take discipline and many of these charity runners might have hit a wall, but their memory is nothing but positive and will last forever.
It’s not a dirty word and you’ll need to be disciplined to run a marathon but that’s a good thing. You’ll need to obviously train regularly, hopefully following a solid schedule, but you’ll also need to look after yourself. By that I mean you’ll need to eat well at the right times, get enough sleep and try and rest during the day if possible. You’ll eat, drink, sleep marathon. It’s not forever – embrace it!
The regular, longer training will mean that you’ll get fit! Maybe fitter than you’ve ever been. Enjoy the experience. You may just want to get round, or you may want to run as fast as you can, but one thing's for sure, you may well drop a few kilos in weight and you will almost certainly enjoy a better quality of sleep. That’s a win win!
Running a marathon will take you on a long journey and there will be times when the day has been tough and motivation is going to wane. Commit to meeting someone for the evening run and the guilt of not turning up will make sure you get your kit on!
Why not join a club or a group of local community runners? You’ll meet new people, make friends and be able to share your journey with them. Staying motivated is key, and it's easier with a buddy!
Use the miles
One thing to enjoy about the long run is that you are able to leave the environment of your usual shorter runs. Use the extra miles to go and visit somewhere great. It might be logging up the miles along a river bank or weaving your way along forest paths. Jump in the car with your new-found friends and drive to the coast perhaps. Be inspired by your new surroundings; it’ll take your mind off the discomfort!
What marathon do I run? Make it a holiday!
Your aim may be just to finish a marathon, any marathon, but if your finances allow, why not turn it in to a holiday. Great marathons are held all over the world so if you have never been to New York, Hawaii, Paris, Venice, Hong Kong or Sydney before, now’s your chance! Check out the marathon calendar on this site - http://www.aims-worldrunning.org/aims.html
Look cut like never before, be happier than ever, have a super-tuned cardio engine, enjoy lower stress levels, expand your social scene, visit somewhere new, maybe run and raise money for a good cause…
How do I enter a marathon?
A simple question but it's not always easy to enter one of the most popular races. Look at the Aims site (linked above), and make a choice. Check out the race's website. It might mean that you need to enter via a ballot. This means that it is over-subscribed and that you have a chance of entry but no guarentee. This means you need to get organised (as you'll need to enter maybe 8-10 months before), and have a back-up plan in case you cannot get in.
Via Tour Operator - you can enter some of the big marathon majors if you travel with a tour group. Running tour operators are allowed to buy entries from the race organisers so in order to get one of these entries, you travel with the tour operator who will supply flight, hotel, race travel and, most importantly, the race entry. They do a good job and take the stress out of going on your own. They often lay on 'extras' such as pasta parties etc.
Smaller overseas marathons - generally not over-subscribed so you can enter these online via their sites. Get organised and do it early so you can book your accomodation and flight without spending a fortune or taking the only room left on the island.
Keep it cheap, keep it local - there will be plenty of local races to choose from so check out a race guide in your country. Pick a good one with enough people in it though as it's always nice to run surrounded by others.
Have we convinced you yet? Good luck!!!
p.s. - remember to recover afterwards!!!