Running is not easy. It sounds easy, but it’s not easy. The endurance that it takes to run a long distance isn’t something that you just do, it’s something that you have to train for. Those who have been pounding the pavement everyday for years will tell you that it’s the feeling of accomplishment that keeps their feet going. It’s the feeling of knowing that you are pushing against your own boundaries and achieving while you do it.
So, when you get it in your head to get up and start running with the goal of running a marathon in mind, you are going to go through a myriad of emotions while you do it. You first have to choose whether you’re going to get straight out onto the pavement and start training in the local parks and on the street, or whether you’re going to use a coupon for NordicTrack and get yourself a top of the range treadmill for the house, instead. Either way, you need to think about how you want to train and then work out what you can do to have an experience that is less stressful. The thing is, running in general is hard, so a marathon? That’s a whole new challenge. There are a lot of guides out there to help you to learn how to run and programmes you can follow, but below, here are some of the things that they don’t tell you about training for a marathon.
You’ll Be More Scared Than Excited
The decision to go ahead and run a marathon alone is a huge thing. You could be a seasoned runner for years and still feel apprehensive about running a full marathon. Less than 1% of the population has decided to run a marathon and committed to doing it. 26.2 miles might sound doable, but when you think that you find the 3 mile walk to work a slog, imagine running over eight times that amount. Annnnd there’s the fear. It doesn’t mean you should quit, though; fear is a normal response to something so overwhelming.
You May Find Those Around You Are Unsupportive
The one thing anyone craves from their friends and family is support and understanding. Here’s the thing: no one HAS to understand you. They just have to support your choice. If you don’t feel that you will be supported while you train, then think about keeping it to yourself until you’re well underway with your training. You need to find the motivation to keep going and once you get the engines running, then share your news.
You’re Going To Feel...Icky
Stomach issues are a big deal for anyone; no one likes to run to the toilet every hour with an exit on the way. However, when you’re training for a marathon, your nutrient levels are going to increase as you eat more fibre and protein to support your muscles. Then adding in those carb refeed days and bam, you’ve a recipe for digestive issues. You’re not dying, but your body is changing on the inside and your tolerances for certain foods is going to change.
You Might Have An Accident…
Not falling over, not crashing into lamp posts, but an...accident. Remember those digestive issues that I mentioned above? Well, it’s an inevitability during endurance that you may accidentally mistake needing the bathroom for passing gas. It happens. What can you do? Wear black shorts at all times. Black shorts hide the sins and allows you to continue on. Don’t feel awful, either. It happens.
You May Spend More Cash Than You Think
Running outside is free: no memberships and no gym to attend. However, you do need properly fitted training shoes. You need the right clothes and you even need to have a budget for exercise equipment to train when you can’t outside. Figure out your budget before you start training, so that you can keep up with your training and not get side-stepped when you’re halfway done.
You’re Going To Hurt
The very word ‘endurance’ invokes visions of having to push yourself farther than ever before. 26.2 very long miles are an endurance training and let’s be honest, running can be boring! You need to keep it interesting and push yourself. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you, you have to push and push and it’s going to hurt. Your muscles and your feet and your lungs - it’s all going to feel like your body is going to give up. But you trained for this, you can do it.
Good luck with your marathon training; it’s an experience!