13 Good Reasons to Run a Full Marathon
Jayanagar, Bengaluru Apr 7, 2017
Thinking about running a marathon? Sure, there are plenty of excuses not to run a 26.2-mile race (too hard, too far, scared of injuries, don’t want to lose toenails), but there are lots of reasons why all the training and pain is worth it.
Here are 13 reasons – one for every mile you’ll run – why you should consider running a marathon.
You’ll stay motivated to run. You can’t get away with not training with a marathon, so having one on your calendar will keep you motivated to stick to your training schedule. On days when your motivation is lagging, you'll think about how you'll feel if you're undertrained, can’t finish, or have to cancel.
You can achieve a life-long goal. Many people have “run a marathon” on their bucket list, but few actually follow through with it.
You’ll improve your health. Running regularly strengthens your heart and also helps keep your blood pressure and high cholesterol at normal levels. It also improves your immune system, so hopefully you’ll get sick less often.
- You can raise awareness and money for a good cause. Many marathons benefit charities and worthwhile causes, from disaster relief to fighting cancer or other diseases. Running for something that's bigger than you is a great way to stay motivated to keep training, meet other runners to train with, and can make your races even more meaningful.
- You can get in better shape. If you’re not in good shape – possibly the best shape of your life – by the time you reach the starting line, you didn’t train hard enough!
- You’ll sleep better. Marathon training can be exhausting and your body will crave sleep, since it repairs itself while you’re resting. You’ll definitely find yourself getting to bed earlier and sleeping a lot more soundly.
- You’ll stay busy. Training for a marathon takes up a lot of time so if you’ve gone through a recent life change – retirement, job loss, empty nest – that gives you some more free time, now might be the perfect time to take on the marathon challenge.
You’ll meet new people. Joining a running group is a great way to meet new, like-minded people. I know lots of people who have met their best friends and spouses through running groups.
Or, you can spend time with family and friends. If you’re not interested in meeting new people, you can convince a friend or family member to train for a marathon with you. Training together and traveling to the race is a fun way to bond and spend time together.
You’ll gain confidence you never knew you had. After you’ve logged a 20-miler, you’ll feel like you can conquer the world (after a post-run nap, of course). Your running confidence will surely overflow into other areas of your life, such as work and relationships.
You’ll find new places to run. If you typically stick to shorter distances for running and racing, training for a marathon will force you to find new places to run, since you'll be running a lot and you’ll get bored with the same routes.
You’ll have an amazing feeling of accomplishment. Although you’ll experience rough patches during marathon training and during the race, it’s all worth it once you cross that beautiful finish line. You’ll feel proud knowing that you set a goal of finishing a marathon and you followed through with it.
The experience will change you. I love this quote: “The person who starts a marathon is not the same person who finishes a marathon.” It’s true that the marathon will change you and you’ll be a different person when you finish the race. You’ll forever know that you have the mental and physical strength to persevere, even during times when you think you can’t and won’t succeed.