Time and time again I hear (and see) people who don't take training for a marathon seriously. **Note: for the sake of this article, we will focus on marathon training, but the basic principle of training applies to all race distances. And yes, the title was picked for a reason - so you would read this :). Lighten up!

Somehow, there is a preconceived notion that you can imagine your way across the 26.2 mile finish line. While it is true that running (a marathon) is 91 percent mental, there is no substitute for solid training. Especially for your first marathon.

While you may hear of training programs that only have long runs of 14 or 16 miles or a few months of training or perhaps someone who just ran their first marathon on little to no training and BQ'd (Boston Qualified). Well runners, let me assure you that is not the majority of  marathoners out there. For some of these "training programs" the runners have been running for years and have been dedicated to it. 

And the other red flag for little training is injury. Cramming in training and long runs in a few weeks is a recipe for disaster. Or injury

We live in world of instant gratification. We want the success without the hard work. We want everything in the least amount of time possible. We want things NOW.  We want the 26.2 medal without putting blood, sweat, tears and sacrifice into it.

Sure, you might be able to inch your way along the course, survive and cross it off your bucket list. But is that really how you want to feel?

There is no substitute for training. Be it in marathon training or life. You have to put everything you have into it. Do you really want ___? Or are you just going about life (and training) with a lot of excuses, ifs, ands and buts?

Have a marathon coming up? Get on the wagon and train. Get in your long runs. Eat right. Drink H2O. Be disciplined. Be passionate about your marathon! Be passionate about life!

The definition of training according to dictionary.com is: "the process of bringing a person, etc., to an agreed standard of proficiency, etc., by practice and instruction." Yep, practice. You probably didn't want to hear that. But, oh, how true it is.

It's getting up day after day, perhaps when the rest of the house is still asleep. When it's cold, hot, rainy or perfect out. You see training isn't optional, it's pretty much mandatory for living life. And marathon training.

And you know what? When you put your heart, soul, mind and everything you have into training, you will have a feeling that you won't be able to describe. You will know what it really means to train and cross the finish line. With a smile. The satisfaction of a job (run) well done. And perhaps a few tears of joy :).


Photo by: lizbadley