Let’s begin this marathon post like any good article:
- Establish credibility.
- Spark interest.
- Provide incentive to continue reading.
Okay, here we go. I’ve never run more than three miles, never considered training for a marathon, and I think there is little to no benefit to running one.
How’d I do? 🙂
Well, here’s what you should consider about running a marathon and how it applies to everyone’s goal of “getting healthy.”
The temptation and allure of running a marathon
You’ll never forget it. You’ll get to tell all your friends (and fellow drivers behind you (26.2!)).
It’s your marathon!
You’re gonna raise money for charity. And by all sorts of gear. (Nipple covers, anyone?)
It’s your marathon!
But did it change your life like you thought it would? Was it worth it?
7 things to consider about doing a marathon
1) It’s really hard on your body.
Like, really hard. Your body is not meant to take a continuous, unrelenting pounding like that.
You WILL do temporary damage. You might do long-term damage. (Think ice baths and knee damage, respectively.)
2) It’s really hard on your mind.
Sure, if you’re running for a cause, there’s some incentive. But the discipline required for a distant, abstract reward is exhausting.
3) It’s going to take many months to reach your goal.
Do not expect to show up for race day unprepared. You’ll need to be dedicated to training for many months.
Otherwise, you’re guaranteed to do serious damage to your body (and therefore mind).
4) You’re gonna fail.
Injuries, laziness, accidents. You’re gonna get set back.
If you’re not prepared for that, it might derail your entire mission.
5) You’re gonna have no fun.
There’s no such thing as “run for fun”. If you want that, go play basketball.
6) You’re gonna have to make time.
Your schedule isn’t going to magically make room for your new lifestyle requirements.
You’re gonna have to shift some things around and prioritize.
7) Most people are “one-and-done”.
You’ll train for months, get your ribbon, and then go back to your old lifestyle. The way you were before the marathon.
Finishing might change your life. But not much more than being able to brag about your accomplishment.
How to use these marathon considerations in your life
We are all faced with the temptation of running a marathon on our quest to living a better life.
- Maybe you want to lose 15 lbs. Or 30 or 60?
- Maybe you want a six pack? Or toned arms?
- Maybe you actually want to run a marathon?
We all have that one big thing that, to us, is the ultimate accomplishment.
But given what we know now, we ought to consider the pain, the struggle, and the inevitable rebound back.
Maybe we should forget the marathon.
Maybe we should sprint, instead? Go for little wins. How about:
- 10 days without HFCS or soda or bread?
- 1 month in a group fitness class?
- Make something for dinner scratch.
Sprints are more fun. And you’re more flexible with where and how you do them.
And you’re going to flourish, instead of perish. (Think Olympic sprinters vs marathoners.)
Forget the marathon of “being healthy”.
Try something new and see what works. Sprint after sprint.
Add up a lifetime of sprints and what do you get?
You guessed it. A marathon.