There is an undeniable aura and mystique to the marathon. Legend has it that 26.2 miles killed the first man (Phidippides) who covered the distance.
While death has not been the result for many who have trained for and completed the marathon, there's little question the time and commitment required for marathon training is daunting.
If you're a relatively new runner, you may want to consider the half marathon first. Here are 13.1 reasons why this distance might be right for you to tackle before going after the marathon.
More: Top 5 Half Marathon Fears and How to Conquer Them
1. It's a challenging, but manageable distance.
The marathon has the appeal of scaling Mount Everest, but just as in preparing to scale Mount Everest, preparing to run 26.2 miles is no walk in the park. If you're brand new to the sport, you're likely looking at six to nine months of consistent marathon training including long runs of 3 hours or more.
The half marathon may lack the "sexiness" of the full marathon, but most new runners with three months of training can conquer a half marathon. Long runs likely won't exceed two hours. There is some commitment involved with half marathon training, but it doesn't have to consume your life.
More: The Risks and Benefits of Long-Distance Running
2. You're not ready for a full marathon.
There could be a variety of reasons why this is the case. Maybe you didn't allow enough time to train. Maybe it seems too daunting. Perhaps a slight injury compromised your training. Your work schedule is too demanding. Whatever the reason, the half marathon is still a challenging distance and 13.1 miles is nothing to sneeze at.
More: How to Work Up to a Half Marathon
3. There are countless races to choose from.
The number of half marathons taking place throughout the year has simply exploded the past few years. It's the fastest growing race distance out there and unquestionably the most popular race distance. Virtually every weekend you can count on one or multiple half marathons taking place within driving distance of your home. So, you've got no shortage of options when it comes to a half marathon race.
More: How to Have a Blast at Your Next Race