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Five Myths about Running a Marathon

Updated on July 14, 2014

Myth Number One: You Have to Be an Experienced Runner

A marathon is an endurance test. It is a true test of our ability to sustain and remain in a state of focused activity. Endurance is closely related to resilience and strength. Most people participate to finish a marathon rather than to win. It's not about the destination but the journey.
With slow steady progress and the right mental attitude, you can train your body to keep moving even when you'd rather drop out. There are at least five considerations you should make before dedicating your time and effort to training. Time is the biggest factor but we make time for what we consider important.

* Choose the proper gear especially running shoes. Running injuries are
related to shoes that don't fit right.

* Research and learn about stretching before and after a work out or run.

* Educate yourself regarding hydration during training and what nutrients your body will need.

*Do you have a positive mental attitude? A positive outlook during your training will give you the energy and stamina to keep going and be successful. Stay away from negative people. Be your own cheerleader. If you find it difficult to stay positive find a runner's support group in your area. Enlist a trusted friend to help kick your ass five times a week.

* Slow and steady progress is the goal.
This will allow your body time to adjust to the higher mileage with less risk of injury.

Myth Number Two: You Have to Run Fast

During a marathon you can maintain a comfortable steady pace walking or running on the slower side. Marathons, especially if it is your first attempt should be about patience, not speed. Remember, it is the journey. (Journey as in "Don't Stop Believing.")

Myth Number Three: You're on Your Own

Running a marathon is a solo effort to an extent but their is plenty of love and support to discover. There are numerous organizations that sponsor a participant and in turn their runners help them reach their personal goals as well. Fundraising is a fantastic way to show you believe in someone or something larger than yourself. If this will be your first marathon, selecting an event that attracts thousands of runners and is known for great spectator support such as the Marine Corp Marathon held in Washington D.C, along the course can be extremely motivating. Chances are even in the later miles it will be comforting to know you're running in the company of other first time runners and will be cheered on by spectators, all the way to the finish line.

Myth Number Four: Marathons Are for the Young and Fit

Unless you have a medical condition that strictly prevents strenuous activity you should be able to complete your goal. There are thousands and thousands of athletes with physical disabilities that compete in marathons around the world. Most people will consult with their physician before training for a marathon. The fastest growing population of marathon participants is over the age of sixty. Awesome!

Myth Number One: Running a Marathon is Crazy!

"Run a marathon? Are you crazy?" This is what you're likely to hear when you tell people you have chosen to participate in a marathon. Don't let the initial reaction deter you from your goal. If family or friends seem discouraging or are unwilling to support you, it's NOT ABOUT YOU. You have a goal? Reach it. You have a dream? Dream it. You don't need any one's permission to be who you are meant to be. If you are supporting a cause greater than yourself, keep going. Be proud. A marathon is more than just trying to win a race. It takes courage and strength to complete. There are personal goals that we all strive to meet. There are fears and obstacles that we overcome. As in life, it is the struggle and the triumph of the journey that teaches us all, not the destination. The person who starts the race is not the same person who finishes the race.

Recently, I did my own personal survey about why or why not people would be willing to run a marathon. Here is what a few friends, family members and co workers had to say:

"Running is hard. Unless you're in shape you'll come in last."

"I would run a marathon for charity just not twenty-six miles. I'd probably have a heart attack."

"People who run are so focused. I think you have to be a special kind of person to want to do that."

"Not every one can run but they can walk. Runners are a different breed."

"Running a marathon can be a test for yourself. You don't have to be a serious runner. You just have to try hard."

Have You Ever Completed a Running or Walking Marathon?

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Marine Corps Marathon Sunday October 27th, 2013

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Washington, DC, USA
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Marine Corps Marathon

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