It’s not uncommon to hear runners ask, “What is your marathon time?”……”Oh, you haven’t done a marathon yet? You can work up to it eventually,” might be the typical reply. For some strange reason the marathon is viewed as the standard for running achievement. While the marathon is a great challenge, why do some feel that you have not yet “arrived” as a runner if you have not done this distance? I would argue that there are far more people who merely survive the marathon and fail to get the most out of themselves due to the lack of sufficient training when compared to those who are adequately prepared.
There are tremendously talented and hard working athletes completing distances from 5k to ultra marathon. Let’s celebrate everyone’s accomplishments. If you want to run a marathon because it’s something that is a true desire, then go for it. However, if you feel like you have to prove yourself, then this may be the wrong reason to train for the marathon distance. Whatever distance you race, put your heart and soul into your training and you look back on what you accomplished with great satisfaction.