The marathon: It's the big event that many runners strive to complete at some point in their lives, with only a portion of those actually going through with doing it.
The decision to train for and race in a marathon should never be taken lightly. This event will change your life for the months to come and will place a whole new level of stress on the body—stress that you have likely never encountered before.
Prior to signing up for you race, there are some important points to consider to make sure you're fully prepared for the journey ahead.
First and most importantly, think about your schedule. Do you have the time to train for such an event? Some people go in not realizing how much time they have to devote to their training program as the weeks progress.
Remember, it isn't just time dedicated to running. You'll need to take the time to recovery properly, as well as plan your food intake because, without question, your fuel is going to go way up.
If you're not able to keep up with all of this, frustration is only going to set in over time.
If you have any inkling that you may be short on time, consider a half marathon. You'll still need to devote time to your training, but it won't be nearly as much as the time needed for the full.
Also remember that even when you aren't training, you may be experiencing higher levels of fatigue than normal, making it harder to do everyday tasks you used to do. Having the support of others—especially if you have kids—will help you train.
Any Pre-Existing Injuries
If you're currently dealing with nagging knees or a bad back, these problems are only going to get worse when you ramp up your level of training.
Evaluate your condition and determine if you are willing to risk that. If any sports therapists or physicians for an injury are currently treating you, discuss your plans with him or her.
Your Nutrition Habits
Evaluate your eating habits. As mentioned, your nutrition needs are going to go up dramatically, so you need to be prepared to handle this.
If you really struggle to eat enough during the day or to eat healthy foods, this could become a problem. If your body isn't getting what it needs, performance will falter and soon, you won't be completing those long runs as planned.
If you don't know much about nutrition, it would pay to learn more about it before you begin training.
Keep these quick points in mind as you make your decision to run a marathon. If you are well prepared for it, the race can be one of the most amazing experiences you'll ever have.