Running a marathon is a huge personal challenge. Less than one per cent of the world’s population has ever experienced running a marathon, and even less have run more than one. Marathon runners are part of a very exclusive club. Most people, including most runners, cannot relate to the amazing journey a marathon runner goes through, from training right through to the entire 42.2km of the race. It’s incredible.
Whether it’s your first marathon, or if you’re a vetran marathon runner, here are five running goals every marathon runner needs to have:
- Put in 17+ weeks of training. Training is incredibly important for marathon runners. Training helps prepare your body for race day; endurance, strength and speed training all make up the foundation of training required for race day. Training takes a minimum of 17 weeks of training for someone who is able to run 10km non-stop. Training times can vary depending on your skill and ability level. People who run full marathons without adequate training put themselves at extreme risks including injuries and in rare circumstances, death. Training slowly conditions the body over a long period of time to build up endurance and most marathon runners who follow a regimented program suffer very few injuries.
- Show up at the start line. Registering for a race will keep you motivated throughout training. After 17 or more, long weeks of training, having the courage to show up at the start line is a big accomplishment. It means you are ready for a massive challenge and are ready to put your body to the true test. This moment should not be taken lightly.
- Cross the finish line. Regardless of your time, take a moment to relish in your victory of crossing the finish line. You’ve just completed 42.2km of running. It’s your time to celebrate all the time you put in training and the journey you have gone on. You get the entire day to eat whatever you want and to wear your finishers medal proudly.
- Strive to improve. If you’re a repeat marathon runner, find a goal to help keep you motivated during training and on race day. For most, that goal will be to improve a personal best, but it can also include other mini goals including less walk breaks, running 20:1’s instead of 10:1’s, crossing the finish line injury free, or crossing the finish line smiling. Whatever your goal is, remember to enjoy the race and have fun.
- Celebrate your success. After the race, celebrate your success with friends, family and your fellow runners. If you didn’t achieve your goal time, don’t be hard on yourself; remember, you just finished running 42.2km, and you’re part of an exclusive group. This is your day to celebrate and tell the stories from your journey!