How do you know if you’re ready to run a marathon?

Have you recently found yourself pondering whether a marathon might just be within your grasp?

It might be that its been niggling away at you for sometime or something you never, in a million years, thought you’d even contemplate.

But here you are thinking about it.

It’s been fantastic to watch people completing London, Berlin, Manchester, Chester, York over the passed couple of months. I hope, that seeing the runner’s elation as they cross the finish line or watching them proudly grasp their medals, reminds you that you too can achieve your wildest dreams – whether that’s a marathon or not!

I asked my marathon running pals on social media how they knew they were ready to run a marathon and this is what they said.

“‘I knew I was ready when I had plenty of miles in my legs and longer runs were easier”

“I just hoped for the best”

“Time restrictions! I wanted to do my first and last before I was 45. I’ve run another 3 since!”

“‘Once 20 miles felt comfortable”

“I didn’t (know when I was ready)! But I’ve just done it last Sunday!”

I love the massive contrast in these answers!!

Some needed to reach a certain mileage to have the confidence to take the plunge, others just went for it.

So what’s my advice? Well it’s kind of a combination of the two.

Running a marathon or setting yourself a big goal is always going to require a leap of faith. A goal by definition is something that scares you a little, something that you have to work hard for in order to acheive and push yourself out of your comfort zone.

An element of doubt is good as it hopefully pushes you to train hard in order to ‘be ready’ when race day comes.

But let’s also be a little sensible, and think about what you should consider before making the big commitment of signing yourself up.

Is your head in the right place?

Are you mentally ready to the training required to run a marathon? Do you have the support of the people around you, who will be vital in helping you succeed?

Do you have the time to commit to training?

Ideally, you’ll be able to commit 3-4 runs a week. Bare in mind that one of these run will gradually increase to 3+ hours as you progress through your training cycle.

What’s your average weekly mileage?

A weekly average of 20+ miles is a great base for embarking on marathon training. If you aren’t quite there yet, think about slowly increasing your weekly mileage to 20-25 miles spread over 3-4 runs a week and see how your body responds. If your body is struggling with this mileage it is worth not rushing to completing the marathon distance and instead, work on whatever you need to before pushing on.

Ar you currently experiencing any injuries or niggles?

There is absolutely no point in booking yourself on a marathon if you are currently suffering with an injury. Your body is telling you there is something wrong and in need of fixing. Fix that first before you start marathon training.

Are you strength training?

With every step you take when you run, you are putting 3-4 times your own bodyweight through your body. That is A LOT of pressure through thost joints. Now imagine how many steps you take over 26.2 miles!! If you aren’t already, get yourself into a good routine of incorporating strength into your training.

So there you have it.

My thoughts on how to know if you are marathon ready.

Please believe me when I say, the aim of this blog is not to put you off or make you feel you are a long way from completing your first marathon. These are just the things I wish someone had made me think about before I signed up to my first one!

For me, all I needed to know was that I was mentally up for it and that I had my husband’s support so I could keep the mum/wife guilt to a minimum as I took large chunks of time out to complete those long runs.

If you want some advice or help in knowing if a marathon is right for you get in touch by clicking on the link below and we can talk it through.