Why Run A Marathon? Why Not?

Why Run A Marathon? Why Not?

in Fitness by
Why Run A Marathon? Why Not?
By: Jan Willem van WesselCC BY 2.0

Any regular or serious runner will tell you that they do races because they can. This may seem a little crazy to those who don’t regularly do things like training for a marathon, but it’s actually not. If you put in the time and effort to get fit properly, you too can take part in these long-distance events.
What is a marathon exactly? It isn’t just any old race; it’s an internationally recognised distance of 42.2 kilometres or 26 miles and is also an Olympic event. However, this shouldn’t scare you off from attempting a race if you’re a casual runner. All you have to do is build up to the distance slowly and start by getting fit enough to run a few half marathons. It’s also important to make sure you have the right gear. The experts at retailers, such as Totalsports in South Africa, suggest that you start with getting the best shoes for your foot type and then get more high-tech apparel as your training progresses.

Top 4 excuses people make for not running in a marathon

If you’re intrigued by the idea of triumphantly crossing the finish line at the end of a marathon, why haven’t you started training yet? There are as many reasons for not running the distance as there are people it would seem. These are the top 4 excuses we’ve often heard:

  1. My body isn’t designed for long distances – In some ways this is true for everyone. The human body definitely has limits and some believe that around 30km is the furthest people are able to run naturally. However, if you look at the evidence, there are hundreds of thousands of ordinary people who complete marathons every year. If they can do it by putting in a little bit of hard work, so can you.
  2. I could never make the cut off time – Globally, the trend seems to be extending the number of hours you have to cross the finish line. This has opened up the world of marathon running to a whole new class of athlete – the everyday person. You no longer need to be in the elite category in order to get your medal. In fact, big races like the New York marathon have no cut off time at all.
  3. I don’t have the time to train – With that attitude, you won’t have the time. However, if you slowly increase how long you spend out on the road and make an effort to add in training sessions, you’ll find that you actually can get strong enough for a marathon. Remember, just because you choose to attempt the distance, doesn’t mean you have to do it next week – take your time to get there.
  4. I knew someone who damaged their knees running a marathon once – This might be completely true. However, you have to remember that everyone is different and each race has unique properties. Additionally, the conditions on the day play a huge part in what happens to you as a runner. Just because someone else had a bad experience, doesn’t mean that you will – especially if you put in the time and effort to prepare properly.

If you aren’t a serious runner and don’t want to go for a specific time on the race, you could always join the crowds of people who dress up and take part in the event for fun. If you watch footage of any of the big marathons – New York, Boston, London – you’ll see masses of bodies in fancy dress out on the course having a good time. Additionally, all of these people get to tick off ‘run a marathon’ on their bucket lists.

Lezandre Joubert is a running and sports enthusiast. She got into athletics at a very young age and knows what it takes to dedicate your time to training and achieving your sporting goals.