If you are one of those people who are making the bold statement ‘I want to run a marathon‘ congratulations because it is a task very few people are willing to take.
I ran my first marathon back in 2002 at the New York City Marathon and had no idea what I was doing.
I got a call from the sports specialist at the Army World Class Athlete Program headquartered at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs asking if I wanted to compete.
The farthest I had ever raced prior to that call was a half-marathon.
Needless to say it was a blast and for a good cause.
The military paid for my flight and put me up in the Plaza Hotel in downtown New York City so to say this was great is an understatement.
My hotel room had marble floors and was beautiful.
The Reason For The Race
I was a member of an armed forces marathon team that was to start in last place (32,189th to be exact) and for every runner I passed Chase Manhattan Bank was donating $1 to lung cancer research.
I finished the top man on the team going from 32,189th to 253rd overall in 2:43:36 (2:51 including the 7+ minutes it took for every runner to cross the start line).
We were only permitted to start when all runners had cross the starting line.
I can still remember my first mile being 16:00 (yes, 16 minutes flat) as I was trying to bob and weeve through an ocean of people.
So, if you are making the statement ‘I want to run a marathon‘ what is some good advice for your running your first marathon?
Here are a few abbreviated tips to help you get to the starting line ready.
- Its a process. Don’t be in a hurry and expect it to take some time to get into shape to run the distnace
- Be patient. A common flaw for most runners (myself included)
- Gradually lengthen the distance of your long runs. If, for example, your current long run is only 2 miles then add a mile or 2 every week other week.
- Spend some time at the pace you wish to run at. If that is 10:00 mile pace try spending a few minutes at first at that exact pace and gradually extend it. This will help you get accustomed to maintaining the pace you wish to hold.
- Segment your runs. If you have lengthened your long run to say, 20 miles, try breaking the monotony of the run up into 4, 5-mile sections. Run the first 5 miles easy, next 5 miles moderate, following 5 miles easy with last 5 miles moderately-hard. Mix it up.
I want to run a marathon is a statement made only by the bold.
People who want to do something challenging. The marathon is not a sprint, over with in a matter of seconds.
We are talking hours and only the highly disciplined, focused individual is willing to compete in one.
There is much to write and say about the marathon distance and I have been running them since 2002.
Helping determined athletes compete in their first marathon is a priority of mine.
It doesn’t matter if you have never run a step in your life and have made the I want to run a marathon statement or not, all level runners are welcome.