What is a marathon?

I realized today that I have a countdown to the Honolulu Marathon widget on my sidebar, but I don’t have much other information about it. Doing marathons has become so second nature to me that I assume most people know what a marathon is. So here are some fast facts:

  1. A marathon is a 26.2 mile running event.
  2. ANYONE can finish one with a little preparation.
  3. Most training plans for beginners require just one long-distance run beforehand.
  4. Most states hold several marathons a year, including the famous New York Marathon and Boston Marathon.
  5. The “high” people feel after finishing IS addictive.
  6. There is NO: too young, too old, too overweight……ANYONE can finish one.

I firmly believe that anyone (and I mean ANYONE) can finish a marathon. I ran my first marathon at  age 16 and I know people as old as 80 years who are running marathons. My own personal mantra is that as long as I am moving forward, I will finish.

Maybe I have a little personal bias because I have run 7 marathons and 2 50ks so far in my life and I plan on doing many more. My mother has run about 10 marathons and even my dad ran one (without training for it first, funny story to come later). I think my dad is an anomaly because I personally don’t think it is possible to run just one marathon and not get addicted to the process of training and the “high” of achieving your goal.

Here are some simple steps to marathon-ing:

  1. Pick a marathon at least 4 months from your current date.
  2. Register online, it is costly at least $100 dollars or more, pick one close by so that travel costs are minimal and the process won’t feel as overwhelming if this is your first rodeo.
  3. If you have no clue, visit RunnersWorld.com for training plans that are credible and tailored to your fitness level.
  4. Follow that plan to the best of your ability.
  5. Take it one day at a time, do your workout, eat healthy and don’t let the prospect of the marathon freak you out. If you do everything accordingly, you will be ready.
  6. Arrive at the starting line with the proper gear, attire, and attitude.
  7. Your expectations, especially for the first race should be just to finish.

I know, I make it sound so simple. But There are so many inspiring stories of people of all ages and conditions  who have run marathons and beyond. Runners World is an amazing magazine for beginners and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in tackling any distance.

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