Look, man, many folks who are just getting their feet wet in the running game, even those who’ve been around the block a few times, view the marathon as the ultimate boss fight, the godfather of all distances. They’re throwing every fiber of their being into trying to crush the magical “under three” hours for 26.2 miles.
The marathon? Yeah, it’s a big deal. Sprinting through it under three hours? That’s some high stakes poker right there. You pull off a sub-3, and boom, you’re in the big leagues. You come up short, you’re back to hitting the pavement, sweating your ass off, while the guy from Strava next door’s already chalked up 200 runs under three hours (still ticking, mind you).
Look, we all get a little wiser when we peek over our shoulders at the past. What we should’ve done is flipped the script: kicked off with shorter sprints (2-6 miles), after a few years leveled up to “medium” (13-18 miles), and then, only then, taken a swing at the marathon. Might not give you the same adrenaline high, but it’d be more about the love of the run and less about weathering a torture test. Check out the journey of the speed demons in the running world – it’s usually this kind of progression, from short to long hauls, not the other way around.
Sure, cracking a marathon is a badge of honor, no doubt. But who’s to say busting out an under 90min in a half-marathon or 35 in a 10k isn’t just as epic? And don’t get me started on the monumental task of blitzing a 5k in under 16 minutes. If you reckon that’s a walk in the park for an amateur, be my guest, step up to the plate.
And this whole notion that the marathon is the only gig for “true runners”? That’s as much bull as “heel-strike running will land you in a world of pain,” “carbs are the devil,” and “every weekend warrior needs a coach.”
Training for a fast marathon isn’t a Sunday afternoon stroll, man. It’s a slog, filled with grind, the creeping hate for anyone who isn’t you, mental drain, and a million “tiny” things that can send all your badass Strava prep spiraling down the toilet.
So you made it to the starting line? Bravo. But don’t blow your load in the first few miles. Crossed the finish line? Great, now you’ve got to wrestle with the fact that you just missed your goal time by a hair.
Hey, I’m not saying marathons suck. There’s a whole universe of exciting distances out there waiting for runners to shine.
At the end of the day, running’s gotta light your fire, no matter the distance.
And let me drop a truth bomb – no one gives a damn about your running routine or how you train, so stop eyeballing everyone else and blaze your own trail, man. It’s your run, your ride.
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