Do you know the best thing about life? It is too long to not rectify our mistakes or make new beginnings. There is no wrong time for inculcating good habits and letting go of bad ones. All we need to do is conquer the doubt and fear that hold us back. My dream of running a marathon finally came true when I incorporated this priceless lesson into my fitness journey.
As you might be aware by now, I’ve consciously worked hard and achieved the health goals that I had set for myself. Fitness has been and will remain an important part of it. From the plump teenager who gazed wondrously at Mumbai marathon pictures in the newspaper to a 30-something lady who ran next to her icon Milind Soman at the Pinkathon, I’ve come a long way.
Is a marathon worth all the hype though? Do we run to win and if not then why bother? Is it only for fit people? Let me answer these common questions for you through my own experience.
Overall health improvement
First things first, marathons aren’t only for runners. However, running or walking in a marathon demands physical fitness which in turn motivates other lifestyle changes. You eat mindfully to support your rigorous training, sleep better out of exhaustion and glow naturally because of all the sweating (this is my favourite!). A toned body is a happy and welcome consequence! Of course, who would mind wearing new and well-fitted clothes that complement those enviable curves?
Consistency is the key
You cannot wake up one day and attempt to run/walk 5 or 10 km, can you? You start with say 2 km and work upwards. Identify your strengths and weaknesses and work with and around them. Marathoners train for months before any event. Regular workouts like cardio (skipping, stair climbing, etc), weight training, strength training, Yoga, etc. for running, and at least 30-45 minutes for walking are crucial. Dress up and show up every day. There’s no alternative to it. Some people get irritated with my updates but they can choose to ignore them. I shall continue! 😉
Mental health benefits
The first-ever marathon I registered for was for 3 km. I huffed and puffed my way to the finish line despite walking most of the time. Was I demotivated? In fact, quite the opposite. I was superbly proud to have made it and that motivated me for the several 5 and 10 km to come. Running is an amazing addiction and therapy and changes something inside you. It is a free stress-buster too. As for me, it helped me find myself!
Find your tribe
Training for and running in a marathon is bound to introduce you to a whole new community of fitness enthusiasts. Even as an amateur I was amazed at how selflessly I was offered tips on running postures, stretches, routes, etc. Your tribe gives you a feeling of belonging, keeps you motivated, and eggs you on when you’ve reached your threshold. I too train with a running group if and when time permits.
Support various causes
Almost every marathon ties up with charities and supports worthy causes like environment, cancer relief, disaster fund, etc. This gives you an opportunity to make a small contribution from your side as well. Not to mention, it puts you on the same page as other mega achievers. Goodies like personalised T-shirts, medals, certificates, and smug ‘Marathon finisher’ pictures are added perks. If you follow me on social media, you’ll know what I mean! 🙂
A marathon is not an event, it is an experience. It makes you challenge yourself and pushes you to get better each time. I’ve run 10 marathons to date and nowhere close to stopping. Unless you’re aiming to be a podium finisher crossing the finish line is enough to make you a winner. After all, we’re our own biggest competition, aren’t we?
‘This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon’
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