“It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
I know you’ve heard this cliché, often attributed to life or some repetitive task. It’s one of those things that is said so often that it loses the meaning behind its original intent.
Run your first marathon, however, and you certainly learn that whoever said it originally was probably a runner. A marathon is bleeping hard. There is no way around it. The race itself is hard and the training is demanding.
For me, I trained while my wife was pregnant with our first child back in 2015. I ran the 2015 Philadelphia Marathon in November of that year. She was and wasn’t my biggest fan. Anna always supported my running efforts, but being tired after an 18 or 20 mile training run while she nurses a newborn all night wasn’t exactly earning me brownie points. So, yeah, don’t do that.
On top of that, training runs can get tedious, but they are so crucial. As you probably recall from running half marathons and 10Ks, the building of endurance is absolutely vital. Without the proper training runs, you will not make it. I also found that the half marathons I ran as I was training for the full were much quicker. I ran my first sub-2 hour half marathon at the 2015 Trenton Half. What an incredible feeling!
Furthermore, keeping your body healthy during the process is key. Cross-training is vital for recovery and strength. That is something I regret not doing more of. However, I did go to physical therapy each week for my shin splints. That team kept me out there. I had a doctor work on my legs, did exercises and afterwards, and did those same movements a few times during the week. Stretching is so key, let me tell you.