Why Everyone Should Run A Marathon (TOL 28)

In the midst of my post-marathon daze, I began thinking of everything I have gotten out of running marathons. There was definitely a time, not too long ago, when I never thought I would run a marathon, let alone five of them. I’ve gotten so much out of training for and running marathons. This post isn’t really to say that every single person should run 26 miles.

It’s more to point out that everyone should do something they never thought they could do; something that pushes them out of their comfort zone and challenges them in a completely new way. 

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1. Training for and running a marathon teaches perseverance.

2. The process takes a whole lot of dedication.

3. You will learn to push through when things hurt or get hard.

4. Marathon training teaches mental strength.

5. You will overcome self-doubt time and time again.

6. It will require you to experience and rely on motivation both from self and others.

7. After you cross the finish line, you will feel like you can do anything.

8. Marathon training proves that pain passes in running as it does in life.

9. You will be able to say that you ran a marathon. Not many people can say that.

10. YOU WILL REALIZE YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU EVER THOUGHT. 

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So there you go…not a whole lot of words, just my thoughts about doing something challenging. 

What have you done or plan to do that will push you out of your comfort zone?

Thanks to Amanda for hosting the Thinking Out Loud link-up!

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57 thoughts on “Why Everyone Should Run A Marathon (TOL 28)

    • Wow hitting 10 marathons is awesome! I really never thought marathon running was for me either. Its crazy what you can accomplish when you work towards something!

  1. 100% agree. The process of training and then completing the darned thing has taught me a lot over the past couple of years! You learn about your strengths and weaknesses and then figure out ways to deal with them and it filters into every area of life! In particular, running Boston taught me how to rely on others for support, and it was the first time I ever experienced anything like that and really took it in.
    Michele @ paleorunningmomma recently posted…Parking Spots and Other Missed Opportunities – TOLMy Profile

    • I agree that its probably made me stronger as a person. Even though running is a very individual sport, there are still times when you need to rely on others!

    • If you decide to run a marathon, I think that would be awesome..but Im sure you get a lot out of the half marathons too! I think there was a point where I got a lot of these things from running 1/2s until I got more comfortable with the distance (or just started running fulls which made the 1/2s seem more reasonable!)

    • Hmm well I would say out of the ones I have done I would recommend Philly or Houston! But Houston is in January so you would need to wait until 2016. But I really love Philly and would recommend that to anyone! I think the course is easy besides two hill in the first half.

  2. I’m thinking either the end of 2015, or beginning of 2016 will be the year for me. I was originally training for a marathon but had to stop due to trying for a baby… which was 3 yrs ago! Looking forward to getting back out on the pavement a little after post pregnancy.
    Jessie recently posted…Quest Nutrition Review & GiveawayMy Profile

    • That sounds great! In my opinion theres no rush, but Im sure your anxious to get back to it since you already started the process a few years ago! I look forward to hearing about your marathon plans:)

    • That would be great if they decide to do that! I’m sure it can sound intimating for a child to hear about running 26 miles…but maybe watching you run the distance so many times will make them feel like its something they could also work towards one day!

  3. I love these and I 100% agree, great post!
    The biggest thing a marathon has taught me is what I am capable mentally. Your strength just continues to grow as you continue to push and train yourself, i think its just incredible.
    I think for me personally, getting faster pushed me out of my comfort zone…and I plan to keep doing it until I’m where I want to be speed-wise!
    Nicole@TheGirlWhoRanEverywhere recently posted…Tips&Tricks Of Surviving Winter RunsMy Profile

    • The mental strength is absolutely key! Without it, you will never be willing to work harder and get faster! I think as we get more comfortable running the marathon distance, the next step is to really race the distance and get faster…which can be intimidating and even scary! But those are the feelings we need to push through to keep growing as runners.

    • That’s so great! I think a lot of times is can be easy to keep doing the same thing day after day, year after year, without adding much challenge to our lives. It’s when we move out of our comfort zones that we change and grow!

    • Yes absolutely! I never realized all the ways that running marathons would affect me as a person.

    • That would be great! I think that many people who complete a half marathon then start to think about conquering the full…its definitely a great challenge to work towards next!

  4. While I’m not sure that I’ll ever run a marathon, I couldn’t agree more on how important it is to push yourself out of odour comfort zone and work towards a goal you never though possible. I keep wanting to get more into running because of the mental strength and discipline it teaches, and reading this has increased the itch even more. Thanks 😛
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. thinking out loud #107 .My Profile

    • I think each person needs to think about where they are and what it would mean to step out of their comfort zone at a particular time. At one point running a half marathon was a great challenge for me…now I feel like I need to keep adjusting my goals rather than settle on where I am. So I think there are probably many ways you can work towards a gaol (running related or otherwise) without necessarily running a marathon!

  5. This list is awesome! Running really teaches us more about ourselves and shows us what we are truly capable of. While a marathon is not on my immediate horizon, it isn’t off the table. This was my first year running, and once I felt good about 5k, I thought, “why not go for 10k?” Then, “why not try a half marathon?” Even though I did my first half marathon and that was awesome, I don’t feel it was what I am truly capable of. Once I have a few half marathons under my belt, I’m sure I’ll get the…”Why not do a full?” itch. Ultimately, if I have to put a timeline on it, I would like to do one before I turn 40.
    Sara recently posted…Turkey for Me & Turkey for You…My Profile

    • I think that by completing your first half you probably experienced all the things I talked about in my post! And if you choose to run a marathon someday, Im sure you will grow even more and learn even more about yourself!

  6. Training for a race def teaches you all those things. You can’t slack or you’ll be paying the price later! I’m not too sure about the wholw marathon thing but people def should step out of their comfort zone!
    Carmy recently posted…Monday on the RunMy Profile

    • Yes, whether its a 5k or a triathlon or something else- its important to keep challenging yourself!

  7. Since everyone else is falling over themselves to agree with you, let me go ahead and disagree! :) I think the basic ideas of pushing yourself, setting goals and stepping outside of your comfort zone are important for pretty much everything in life.

    But … with what you say it reinforces the marathon as a ‘defining distance’, the whole ‘you’re not a real runner unless you do a marathon’.

    I had more … but maybe I should turn it into a post myself 😉
    Michael Anderon recently posted…Let’s Talk About Runderwear … for Men!My Profile

    • I definitely didn’t mean that you need to run a marathon to be a “real” runner- I hope it didn’t come across that way! I think that people should find something that is a reasonable challenge that will push them out of their comfort zone- whatever that might be. Most of the people who read my blog are runners- which is why the logical focus is on running. But really, it can be any challenge in life! I think that running in general is an activaty that builds confidence and mental strength, therefore a great choice of a challenge if appropriate…and can be anything from completing a 30 minute run for the first time to running an ultra!
      I’d love to hear more of your thoughts related to this! I’m sure it will bring up a good conversation:)

  8. Agree! I was of the mindset that marathons were just too extreme for me. Until one day I felt like WTH? Just one for the bucket list. That race taught me so much about ME. Good things. And I became much more confident because of it. You truly never know until you try.
    Marcia recently posted…Humpday GiveawayMy Profile

    • That’s so great- it really sounds like running and marathons have helped you in so many ways!

    • I think those qualities often come about from sports like running, or team sports. Its so important to keep challenging yourself- or you will never know what you’re capable of!:)

  9. Loved this post. I feel like I can relate to these types of things to an extent now, but I’m sure it’s magnified while training for the marathon distance. I want to run a few more half marathons first, but I definitely want to run a marathon someday:)
    Hailey recently posted…11 days!My Profile

    • I think I experienced a lot of this when I first ran a half-marathon. But as I adapted to that distance then I had to find other ways to push myself like trying to get faster and running longer distances. Its always a work in progress!

    • Very good point! I think that any big accomplishment can bring about these feelings. As long as its a challenge that pushes you out of your comfort zone, you will surely learn a lot about yourself and grow as a person!

  10. I totally agree. It’s not about a traditional marathon per se, but branching out into doing something that you never thought you could! Challenging yourself. So few people do that these days. A lot of people are happy just going through life taking the easy way out. There is nothing more rewarding than accomplishing that one thing that you never thought you could do!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…Friday Five: Friday FavoritesMy Profile

    • I think that’s the key- doing something you never thought you could do! Even if its not a marathon, finding something that is a great challenge at that point in your life!

  11. I couldn’t agree more with this! This past winter while training in the polar vortex I realized if I could train during this I could train during anything. Running definitely pushes and motivates you outside your comfort zone. I always tell me friends they should run a half marathon. Most of them laugh at me and say they never could do that. I try to reinforce that they can no matter their athletic ability. Training and running a race is more about mental toughness and dedication than athletic ability. If you can commit yourself to put in the time and run you can run any distance you want. Great perspectives!
    Sara @ Lake Shore Runner recently posted…NEW Trader Joe Must Haves #FridayFavorites #FridayFiveMy Profile

    • That’s so true! I have seen/heard of so many people who went from not running at all to completing a half-marathon. Its all about staying committed to working towards your goals!

    • Isn’t is amazing how much we can change over the years? It just shows that if you put your mind to something you are more capable than you think!

    • Exactly! I think it should be something that seems impossible, and then you feel like you are on top of the world when you accomplish it!

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