Especially if you are looking for excitement, fun, pain and bliss rolled into a single unit.
Running as a sport has picked up big time in the recent past and the number of people signing up for events is at an all time high.
I am sure there is some word-to-mouth publicity that running gets which motivates a non-runner to take a shot at it.
After all it’s the simplest activity we all have done since childhood. But then it’s not a very “fun” sport. It can get lonely, boring and lethargic. Why is it that then every 4th or 5th guy/girl you know has just finished a 10k or a half-marathon or may be a full 42.195km marathon?
If you subscribe to the RunnersWorld or Competitor Running feed on Facebook, you will come across countless stories of before and after pictures of people who went from fat to fit, stories of how running transformed people’s lives and so on.
One big reason people run is because it de-stresses. The other strong reason is that there is no better(& faster) way to lose weight than to run regularly. It is almost a magic pill for weight loss.
So you are a regular runner/fitness enthusiast and you look fit, but should you attempt a marathon? How does it matter?
It does. Big time. Here are some reasons why training for and then finishing a marathon is worth it:
1) It resembles life – except that it gets wrapped in a day and you are alive at the end of it. Signing up for a marathon takes courage. Once you do that, and you start training for it, you go through a cycle of discipline(& lack of it), routine, good days, bad days, exuberance and all the emotions you can imagine. Marathon preparation is both a physical and a mental activity – it prepares you for life like no other sport.
2) It makes you feel great about yourself – And we all live for that. We live to feel awesome about ourselves. The feeling post finishing a marathon is undescribable. If self-confidence could be put in a jar, you buy a whole bucket of it post finishing it. You are literally ready for any other challenge. It’s a self-growth exercise.
3) Weight loss/Fitness becomes a by-product of the marathon training journey – I am a big proponent of aiming big.
“Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star”. By the time the marathon day comes closer, you are already in great shape and receiving compliments from people.
4) It makes you humble – A marathon is a “marathon” literally. No matter how well trained/fit you are, you will face challenges during the training and the run itself. There will be someone who will overtake you. Humility is a guaranteed virtue post a marathon.
5) FOMO(Fear/Feeling of missing out) is not a good thing. We all experience FOMO throughout our lives for various things – objects, money, achievements, fame etc. Finishing a marathon puts you up in the “league”. You earn bragging rights and as with any other achievement, it dilutes the overall FOMO and insecurity.
6) You become an inspiration for people around you – which again by our very nature makes us feel good about ourselves.
No matter how self-centered or selfish you may think you are, there is a big part of us wanting to motivate others. Once you finish a marathon, that part of you grows larger than the selfish part.
For a first timer, it usually takes 6 to 12 months to train for a marathon(and it’s risky to try to do it in a shorter timeframe), but it’s an accelerated path to self-discovery.
Don’t rush but make sure you check running a marathon off your bucket list sooner – you will thank yourself!