That's the big question and my answer is quite simple: "Because I like to run."
Training for and running a marathon is actually enjoyable. Why else would you run a marathon? I can't speak for other marathon runners but as for me, it's fun. There is something about the self-discipline and limit-pushing of the marathon that I love.
So, yes, I said training for a marathon is enjoyable... sometimes. Looking back over my previous marathons, I compiled a list of things that have caused me to loathe - or strongly dislike - long-distance running.
If you are looking to run a marathon or are currently training for one, this is a list of things you SHOULD NOT do. Many of these laughable "no-no's" are from my personal experience and some I have heard through the grapevine.
12 Ways to Loathe Marathon Training
- Let the training plan rule your life. Instead of choosing a plan that fits your schedule, force your life to fit the training plan. Exhausted after being up with a sick kid all night? You still need to get that 20-miler in bright and early... because the plan says so! No time for spontaneity either... you are the plan's slave.
- Skip the rest days. Resting is for mere mortals. Run more, more, more! Recovery... what's that? Just keep pushing your body until you hit the breaking point - which you will eventually.
- Run fast all the time. Don't let your neighbors catch you running at an easy-effort pace. Why not just make every day a speed day?!
- Overthink every long run. Dread it all week and then barely sleep the night before because you're so stressed out over a simple run. Now that's fun!
- Make no time for stretching and strength training. As Americans, flaunting "busyness" is like a status symbol. Of course you don't have time to stretch or strength train! Don't worry - when you are injured and unable to run, you will have plenty of time to fit it in then.
- Forget the Vaseline or body glide for the long runs. That first shower after long, heavily-chafed run is enough to make a grown man cry. If you really want to dislike training, skip that Vaseline or body glide. Chafing? 'Tis a mere flesh wound!
- Be driven solely by your weekly mileage total. Ignore the workout goals, just strive to hit high mileage regardless of what your body says about it. The week's mileage goal was 50 miles and you ended up with 49.50 miles? FAIL.
- Don't adapt training for your current life season. I mean, how much can two small children possibly change your life? (... that sentence is dripping in sarcasm)
- Let a bad run ruin your entire day. Because somehow the quality of your run defines your value as a person.
- Run through any injury or illness. No time for rest and recovery! Keep pushing those miles. Why toe the starting line healthy yet slightly under-trained? Get those miles in and be a sick, limping zombie on race day. You're that hardcore.
- Constantly compare to other runners. Instead of just being your unique self, push to run X miles per week at X pace because a fellow runner does. Be constantly discontent with your build because you don't look like a "real runner" (whatever that is!).
- Make running the focus of your life. If you get injured or can't run for some other reason, your world will come crashing down. Only a life rooted in the Lord will keep you from being thrown around in life's waves. Running is a wonderful gift but that's all it is - a gift. Don't let it become your "god".
What is one of your biggest training mistakes?