You probably have a bucket list, you may have an item “Run a Marathon” unchecked on your list, and you’ve got your reasons to run a marathon first time. You next question is likely to be: “Can I run a marathon?”.
I know that feeling. If it’s your first time, you may be worrying too much!
Based on my own experience and research online, I have distilled 3 elements that are essential for you to go ahead for your first marathon. Read through the following, if you get all ticks to the first 3 items, you already have the green light to go for it. Don’t overthink! Everything else is secondary.
You Need A Healthy Body
Training for a marathon and going for the race is a huge endeavor to your body, taken too lightly, it can be detrimental to your body and your health, which take substantial time to recover.
It is crucial to ensure your body is healthy and fit for the training as well as the race, especially you have a family history of heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure. Go consult your doctor at least, let your doctor know about your plan and ask for his advice, and better have a medical check up. Knowing you have a medical clearance gives you a feeling of relieve, keep you focus on the training and enjoy the run.
100% Dedication Is The Key
Remember, you are not trying to run your first marathon. You are there to run 26.2 miles in the race and cross the FINISH line! Finishing your marathon first time is a demanding challenge that requires 100% dedication and utmost determination. As Yoda has said: “Do or do not. There is no try.”
Training for a marathon is grueling. Whether you are a genuine beginner for running or have been running for sometime, as the training intensifies, you may have difficulties in breathing during the run and have sore & pain in muscles after that. It takes time to get used to it, though it’s normal experience in building up your body fitness.
Emotionally, you will have ups and downs throughout the training, which seem like a roller coaster to test your mental toughness. From time to time, you may question yourself if it’s worth to sacrifice so much on it and whether you should carry on.
Believe me, you will make it through those hard times… Only if you are totally dedicated!
Get Support From You Love Ones
This is weird, isn’t it? If you think of training for a marathon is your personal challenge and there’s nothing to do with you love ones, think again!
Just same as any person in the world, you have only 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Spending time on the training means taking away quality times from your family, spouse, kids and close friends.
A typical training schedule for first time marathon runners would mean 16 to 20 weeks, 3 to 5 runs per week. Adding up with the times on preparation, warm up and cool down, time to take a rest after the tough training, it is pretty conservative to say you are taking away more than 200 hours from your time being with love ones!
So communicate with your love ones beforehand, get prior understanding from them, and seek their support for you to accomplish your challenging goal.
Dip Before You Plunge
Getting 3 ticks on the above and your green light is just the beginning of the journey. If running a Full Marathon is your first running race ever, it’s better to join some shorter races like 10K or half marathon, so you can get a taste of “being in the race” and helps to build up your confidence for the big one.
Yes, You Can!
Running for a marathon first time is rigorous, it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Talk to your doctor and get a medical check up to find out if your body is fit for the training and the race. Ensure you are totally dedicated and determined to FINISH the 26.2 miles instead of trying to run for the race. Communicate with your love ones so they will understand and support you on chasing your dream.
Dream big and start small. Join some shorter races to enjoy being part of it and build up your confidence for finishing your first 26.2 miles.
Believe you can, and have fun!