By: Scott Vorhees
Thinking of running your first marathon? My advice- don’t!
Well, at least, don’t do it like I did. Don’t train a handful of times, go out and run a marathon and expect anything but incredible suffering both during and after. Oh yeah, and you will also end up with a finish time that you will never admit to. But on the bright side, I am here to tell you that anyone can run a marathon. The only question is how smart are you beforehand and how much suffering do you really want to endure?
Since my first miserable marathon, I have completed 15 more, including some times that I am actually proud of and some incredibly pleasant runs that didn’t make me feel like I had just been run over by a Mack truck. In addition to the 16 marathons, I have also completed 15 half marathons, two 50’s and a 100-mile race. The key is consistent training and mental toughness. With 12 weeks of training, anyone can follow a plan, slowly build up mileage and complete a marathon. The same is true with a little more prep time for a 50 or 100-mile race. Any reasonably healthy person should be able to finish any of those distances provided they can shut up that little voice in their head that says you can’t. So when I talk about running the first marathon or first 100, my advice is always the same. Figure out what keeps you moving. Sometime during training, sometime during the race, maybe sometime during the recovery, others will ask you or you will ask yourself, why the heck would you want to do that!? For me, there are no words to capture it - but it is something along the lines of I refuse to admit I can’t do something. I enjoy overcoming the suffering, and also there is something special about being part of a running community where we are all just a little bit crazy.
So if you are thinking about running your first marathon – put in a little training first, figure out your answer to why you want to do something crazy and get ready for the start of a wondrous and addicting adventure!