My marathon life started like many others have, for a cause. A good friend of mine had passed away from Leukemia and I decided to run the Miami Half-Marathon in her memory. Running a half-marathon seemed like a reasonable goal. At the time I decided to run the half marathon, I was a medical student in NYC, I lived a block away Central Park and I was running four miles 2-3 times a week as part of my regular exercise regimen.
I ran to relax, to think and to be able to concentrate better. When I decided to run a half-marathon, I honestly wasn’t concerned. I mean if I could run four miles what is another nine? Well, retrospectively, I was DEAD wrong: running four miles is one thing, running thirteen is another. This I feel is one of the runner downfalls.
As runners, we often push ourselves beyond what we are ready for. A half-marathon is a commitment, a commitment to you and to your body. A half-marathon is a great goal, a great achievement and with some effort and determination, is very much achievable.
It has been my experience that people are worried about committing to this goal. They are worried about the cost, the time commitment and the strain on their body. Here is the good news, it doesn’t have to be that way.
To start all you need is a good pair of running shoes. Don’t worry about buying the best pair on the market, buy a well fitting, solid running shoe. When the time comes you will want to invest in a better pair of shoes but then you will also be armed with the knowledge of what you need from a running shoe.
Yes, you will find runners all geared up, running pants, shirts, belts, holders, water bottles, etc. Eventually, you may want all of these accessories, but to start you need a comfortable set of jogging clothes.
Find the event that you want to do and make that your initial goal. Start with a 5k or 10k and work your way up. Every city has a local running store, these are good places to start. You can ask them all your questions and in addition, they will know the local running events that are happening. There are many online resources as well, that have complete lists of events in any region in the country and the world. For example, halfmarathons.net
Yes, running does take time, and especially the longer runs. However, as you improve your running skills you will find that you can spend less time running more miles. There are many training programs out there that can help you pace yourself. these are also extremely helpful in making sure that you pace yourself and do not overwork your body and that you are well prepared for a race.
The next time someone asks if you want to run a half marathon, don’t reject the idea. This may be just the opportunity you were waiting for. It is a way to get fit and stay fit, and it is a way of contributing to a worthy cause. It is also a great way to meet like-minded people and by the end you will feel great.