Should you sign up for a marathon?

As tempting as it may be to enter a marathon on a whim, consider these points before signing on the dotted line...

Should you sign up for a marathon?

Build a base

If you're seriously contemplating entering a marathon, it’s important to have some solid running experience under your belt first. This doesn't mean you need to be running 40 miles a week, but having some miles in your legs will help you.

Running coach Hal Higdon maintains that runners should be able to comfortably run 15-20 miles per week before tackling a marathon, while some experts recommend 30-35, but it depends on the individual. These numbers might sound mind-boggling, but when it comes to marathon running it's important to be patient, build your fitness up gradually and not try to do too much too soon

Patience is a virtue

If you have yet to run a 5K and you're thinking of signing up to the challenge of 26.2 miles, it’s wise to tick off the smaller distances first. Progressing from a 10K to a half marathon and beyond over a sensible amount of time will help your body to adjust to the change, adding mileage without risking injury.   

Set personal goals

A marathon is a big task for any human being, so it pays to think seriously about why you actually want to run one. Is it to push yourself, to raise money for charity or because your mates at the pub dared you to do it? Once you’re fully committed to spending the next four months of your life in training and not just entering because of a creeping sense of FOMO, then you will know you're ready to go the distance.

Make a plan

There are multiple training plans available right here on The Running Bug, including one that will work specifically for you! It may seem a little eager-beaver to sift through plans before you’ve even signed up, but it's good to know what the next few months will have in store for you before charging full-steam ahead.

Prior to parting ways with your money for a race place, take some time out to decide what type of training would work best for you and your life at this moment in time. From three days a week, to a full five day programme, planning is half the battle.

Phone a friend

One of best ways to understand what training for a marathon entails is to learn from the long distance heroes that have gone before you. If you have some super human friends who have a marathon to their name, don’t be afraid to ask how it was for them!

Not everyone’s experience is the same and some will have found it easier than others, but speaking to a veteran will help you to understand what a life-changing journey marathon running can be. Good luck!

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