Deciding whether to get ready and run your first marathon or not is not easy to make. Although the numbers say that the marathon is twice the distance from the half marathon, in fact they are two totally different disciplines. Preparations for a marathon race are much more demanding and entering that process requires that you have a minimum of resources.
Here are some reasons why a marathon may not be the best fit for you at the moment.
You do not have a clear enough reason why you are preparing for the first marathon
Before you sign up to run your first marathon, ask yourself why you want to run a 42km race? Is this just one of the wishes somewhere on the list? Have you been on a few shorter trails and is this a logical step forward? If you don’t have a good reason to run a marathon, you better postpone it for another time.
Every marathoner, during the preparations for the marathon, has a question, what will this do for me. Usually in every length training, several times, often in pace training and in the race itself, certainly once or twice. Especially if you hit a marathon wall. In these moments, you will have to remind yourself why it is worth persevering, only if your reason for running a marathon is good and strong enough, you can expect that these crises will not break you.
This is not about motivation but about consistency and decision, when everything hurts, when it is raining outside and you need to get up at 5 to go to training, or when it’s too hot outside and your training is waiting for you… these are the moments when it will be very important how you answered the above question…
You don’t have enough time to train in the next few months
If you want to successfully prepare for a marathon, you need to plan your workouts in advance for a few weeks. Are you ready to give up free weekends and some afternoons during the week you will spend running? When it comes to a marathon, any skipped training will cost you dearly and will be visible in the race.
So save the marathon for the time when there will be enough time in the calendar to prepare. There is also a saying that says that it is not success and courage to run a marathon, but to go through the preparations for this race.
You have other priorities in life for a few months in advance
For several months, a marathon will be your main priority. If you are currently pursuing other hobbies, this is not the time to sign up for a marathon. There is nothing wrong with loving more time for family, going on vacation or enrolling in a dance class. The race will always be and one day you will be ready for it, until then enjoy all the other activities and run half marathons and 10km races.
Don’t force yourself to run a marathon just because your friends might sign up or you’ve seen a good opportunity to visit New York or London (or any other city and place in the world) and run your race.
The support of close people is very important when you are preparing for the first marathon
Do your family and closest people in your life agree with your intention, so sign up for a marathon? Will they support you in this?
As banal as this may seem, imagine a situation where you disappear from family life every Sunday morning for 3 to 5 hours. And so, every week for the next 4 to 6 months. And during the week you are absent due to training for another 15 hours.
The support of the family and the environment is extremely important also because they will have to stand by you in the coming months. You’ll need help with household chores (don’t try to do everything yourself because you can’t), in many cases you’ll only have one topic to talk about (you’ll be terribly bored and tiring at times), if an injury happens they’ll be there to comfort you and support…
All in all, if you do not have strong support, the reason must be very strong steel, organization at the highest level and understanding for the environment that does not understand you to the maximum.