Marathon Pursuit (1/5): Anyone Can Run a Marathon
Here is the tried and true, age-old, step-by-step plan for anyone (and I mean anyone) to run a marathon:
Step 1: Run.
Step 2: Repeat Step 1.
All jokes aside, it is very true that anyone can run a marathon. You may not be shooting for the gold medal, but the only person you should be racing is yourself. I’m not ever going to say 26.2 miles is easy, but with enough patience and enough willpower, I believe anyone from Jared the Subway guy to Gladys Burrill (92 year-old marathon competitor) can go for the long run. To help you along the way, here are some simple guidelines to get you off that couch, into those running shoes, and across that finish line:
- Be Prepared – It’s going to be hard work, you cannot avoid this. Come in mentally prepared to work hard and occasionally push yourself. If you are not prepared for the long road ahead of you, it will be easy to get lost on its winding corridors. Know your limits, only so you can better push them. Along the way, keep in mind the wise words of Henry Ford, “If you say you can or you say you can’t, you’re probably right.”
- Stay on Track – Do you a simple Google search, ask a friend, or read a book; just get a plan. Follow the prescribed running amounts, take some days to rest, and track your progress. Lay down the groundwork and the big race will be a walk in the park.
- Listen to your Body – How’s that cheeseburger and fries you had for lunch treating you on the road? Watch your diet, get your sleep, and stay hydrated. Listening to your body seems like it should be easy, but how often do you respond to those tell-tale signs?
- Have Fun With It – This should be simple enough, if your pace is pulling you down, slow down a bit. Everyone should have their own reasons to run, but they should all revolve around self-exploration and the pursuit of happiness. Get out, enjoy the run, and have fun with it.
- Go For the Distance – Perhaps the most important advice is once a week, kick up the distance a notch. It takes time and some groundwork to start pulling down the double digit distances, but once you do, you’ll never want to stop. Get out and push those limits, see new things, and cross a new finish line every week.
Lace up those running shoes, stretch those hammies, and drink water! Join me in my marathon pursuit as I keep my eyes on the finish line of the World’s Friendliest Marathon; the Richmond Marathon on November 10th. Sweat will be involved, sore legs a guarantee, and a lot of healthy runs in between.
Over and Out