Can Anyone Run a Marathon?

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With the proper training, I do believe that anyone who is in good health can complete a marathon. However, it’s a huge physical and mental endeavor and is not something to be taken lightly.

It’s tempting to watch a marathon, see people of all ages and body types and think, “Hey, I could do this.”  But it’s important to remember that most people running a marathon have been running for years and gradually built up to the marathon distance (26.2 miles).

Only someone who is incredibly fit could decide to run a marathon on a whim. The average marathon participant has reached that point after months of training to get themselves physically and mentally prepared. And they’ve all been checked out by their doctors, who gave them the medical clearance to train for and complete the race.

If you’re healthy, willing to make the commitment to the training, and also prepared to make financial and personal sacrifices, then you might be ready to take on the challenge. Most marathons require you to be at least 18 years old, although for some the age minimum is 16. And, of course, you need to actually like running, at least a little!  I always suggest that someone interested in completing a marathon first try running a shorter race distance, such as a 10K or half marathon, to make sure they enjoy it enough to train for a full marathon.

Training for a marathon requires a huge commitment of time, as well as physical and mental energy, so you need to decide if you're ready to commit to doing everything it takes to get be ready for the challenge.

It's a time-consuming endeavor; many people compare marathon training to having a part-time job. You'll need to be prepared to make some sacrifices, such as spending less time with friends and family and making sure you're eating healthy and getting plenty of sleep.

Before you eagerly sign-up for a marathon, you should check out these 8 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Deciding to Train for a Marathon to determine if you're ready to take the plunge.

What to Expect With Marathon Training

With marathon training, there are always some surprises along the way, too. For instance, some people, including family members, may not actually support your training if they feel like it’s interfering with your family life and commitments. You should be ready to deal with some nay-sayers and explain why you want to do it. And if you think that marathon training is a sure-fire way to lose weight, you may be surprised that doesn’t always happen.  Check out these 10 Things to Know Before Running a Marathon.

To help you decide whether you want to train for and run a marathon, here are answers to some other frequently-asked questions about marathon training and running:

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