From experience, I would say that once you have completed a Marathon, this is probably the most common first questions.
… Often the runner will respond with a ‘didn’t do the time I wanted to’ or ‘I had to walk a bit of it’ as a couple of examples – naturally this brings the runner down a peg or two – this makes me a little sad. Unless of course they have completed the Marathon in a time they are happy with!
We are almost obsessed with that competitive feel to running a marathon – don’t get me wrong, I love a little bit of a competitive edge and set goals to work towards in terms of data. However, although running a Marathon has now become more of a common thing to do, it is still an extreme event! I just researched the % of the population that complete a Marathon and, according to a 2012 study by Runners World, Everyday Health, approximately half of one percent of the US population have run a marathon before. This equates to about one out of every 200 people. (Less common than I thought in the previous sentence and pretty incredible right)…!
Anyway, the fact that you have completed a Marathon should be something that you are incredibly proud of – whether you completed it in this time or that time should be irrelevant!
Personally, if I chat to someone in the build up to a Marathon, couple of top tips would be to embrace every part of the build up/day and secondly don’t set yourself a time goal/ compare your results to others.
There are so many variables that can play havoc with running a marathon, its almost impossible to predict. What happens if at mile 5 you trip over a water bottle? Or you are battling torrential rain (or like recently in London it’s unbearably hot). Or unexpected cramp kicks in which you’ve never had before?
I remember when I was little and watching my Uncle complete the London Marathon – he was a hero and I was so inspired by what he’d achieved. I feel that now-a-days there is an overwhelming pressure to achieve a certain time and if you don’t achieve it, the feat now seems to be a little clouded with the time it took.
You get the idea of the message!
If you have completed a Marathon, you are amazing, inspiring and have achieved something most haven’t. Shout about it, tell your friends about the experience and always remember what you have achieved and the bigger picture.
Don’t let anyone take the shine off of you, building people up will always win!