How You Know You’re Ready to Run Your First Marathon

· · ·

Are you thinking about running your first marathon? That’s not a decision to take lightly! Registering for, training for, and running your first marathon is a big endeavor. There are many things to consider but with time, passion, and planning it is possible and very manageable. Below are five reasons to gauge whether or not you’re ready to run your first marathon.

Smiling woman standing outside and wearing a red tank top, black leggings, and a marathon medal around her neck.

How Do I Know I’m Ready To Run a Marathon?

1. You want to run a marathon and know your “why”

Probably the most important reason! The desire to complete your first marathon must come from within yourself 100%. It cannot be a decision that is based off of what everyone else is doing or what someone wants you to do. Training plus base building AND the marathon itself will not be successful if the only reason a person is running it is to fit in with other runners or to please someone else.

Figure out why you want to run a marathon. Are you running in memory of a loved one? Raising money for a charity? Does running bring you clarity and help with stress management? When training gets tough, referring back to your “why” can be very helpful.

2. You have a solid training plan and a coach to work with

You need to have a concrete training plan and schedule. This means you know well in advance how far and what effort level you’re running on any given day.

With your plan, you should know which days are your long run days, rest days, easy days, speed workout / tempo days (if including those in your training), and recovery run days. It’s not an, “I’ll see how far I feel like running tomorrow” type of thing. A well written training plan is very deliberate and the mileage is carefully calculated to keep a person’s risk for injury as low as possible.

If you want to go the extra mile, I suggest working with a coach who can guide you through training, give you tips, advice, and feedback, plan out your schedule, and also talk you through the mental side of running.

I am a certified running coach and would love to help you tackle a marathon. (Click here to learn more about my coaching and get in touch with me!)

Smiling woman standing on a podium wearing a white t-shirt, black leggings, and holding a marathon finisher's medal.

3. You have enough time to safely build mileage and run more

This is extremely important and often overlooked.

First, a runner should have a solid mileage base (at least 300 aerobic miles) before even dipping their pinky toe into formal marathon training. Base building takes months and is incredibly important because it significantly reduces the risk of injury, especially for someone who is going from just running a handful of miles to a marathon!

When you add on the marathon training itself (at least another 3-4 months), that’s about 6-7 months! The key here is to plan ahead. If it’s spring and you don’t have much of an aerobic base, I suggest looking into late fall marathons at the earliest.

You also want to be ready to devote more time to running. Sure, you may run the same number of days each week as you do training for a 5k, but the long runs for marathon training can get very long – potentially 20 miles! Make sure that you are able and willing to dedicate more time to training. Taking time to consider your life schedule outside of running is encouraged so you can make an appropriate decision.

4. You don’t have high expectations set in your head

Ideally, your top goal should be to cross the finish line. Stay away from setting any expectations regarding time or whether you run the entire 26.2 miles. Focus on conquering the distance and crossing the finish line feeling proud of yourself and pleased with whatever time is on the clock.

Woman running down a red carpet to a finish line wearing a white t-shirt, black leggings, and pumping her fists.

5. You feel excited and a little scared!

It’s okay to feel nervous and/or scared! In life if you feel excited AND scared, then whatever decision you are pondering is probably the right decision for you. Because really, when have you ever grown from staying in your comfort zone?

When about taking a leap of faith, try to identify your feelings and emotions. If there is excitement, passion, and eagerness as well as some nerves then I suggest going for it!

Comment below:

Are you considering training for your first marathon?

If you have run a marathon, how did you know you were ready and what helped you make your decision?

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *