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So.......... Why the Marathon?

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  • 08-03-2019 8:53pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭


    I figured I don't think I've ever started a thread in this forum so why not start with my favourite question for people. - Why the Marathon?

    I look around at most runners I know personally and here on Boards and I struggle to find someone who hasn't or isn't running a marathon.

    Why is this? What's the huge attraction of the marathon for you? What are the upsides and downsides? Any regrets? Anything you would do differently? Will you run more?

    I'd love to hear everyone's opinion on this from the Novices all the way to the Krustys of this world.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,807 ✭✭✭skyblue46


    Haha...good man.

    Ok for me it was like an Everest..the ultimate challenge for someone who had let his fitness slide for 20 years. If I told friends or family I was planning a 5k, 10k or whatever there would have been little reaction beyond "oh I see". The marathon is the showstopper, the one people pay attention to and react with amazement!

    Upsides? Being able to focus singlemindedly on one thing, having a set target...The Main Thing! Downsides...the same as the upsides. Which for me meant not racing some races I'd like to race cos Sunday is long run day.

    Regrets...none whatsoever. Will I run more? Definitely at least one...when I come up with a target to really excite me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,834 ✭✭✭OOnegative


    I figured I don't think I've ever started a thread in this forum so why not start with my favourite question for people. - Why the Marathon?

    I look around at most runners I know personally and here on Boards and I struggle to find someone who hasn't or isn't running a marathon.

    Why is this? What's the huge attraction of the marathon for you? What are the upsides and downsides? Any regrets? Anything you would do differently? Will you run more?

    I'd love to hear everyone's opinion on this from the Novices all the way to the Krustys of this world.

    You haven’t run one cause your a sissy.....

    Love the training involved, challenges me both mentally and physically even though I know it’s the running distance i’m worst at, that being the reason why I keep going back to it. If I run sub 3 ever I will hang my marathon shoes up and like yourself concentrate on the ‘softer’ distances.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,653 ✭✭✭✭Plumbthedepths


    Ran a 5k saw the 10k as a challenge, followed by the half, the Marathon was then the next obvious goal. Now it's ultras, 100k etc. Progression or madness still haven't decided which.


  • Registered Users Posts: 55,025 ✭✭✭✭walshb


    It’s the popular choice because of the mass participation “fun” element of it, plus it guarantees you kudos and praise...

    It’s an event for non runners and non racers, as well as real runners and racers..it caters for everyone..

    It’s the whole “challenge” vibe around it...


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,178 ✭✭✭MY BAD


    OOnegative wrote: »
    If I run sub 3 ever I will hang my marathon shoes up and like yourself concentrate on the ‘softer’ distances.
    Give me a sub 17 5k any day over a sub 3 marathon :pac:


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler


    Give me a sub 17 5k any day over a sub 3 marathon


    This!......... Haha.


    All joking aside from my perspective and what I've seen the main upside of racing a marathon is the challenge of running as fast as you can for that distance. The downside, and it seems to be so so common is the recovery after one. In some cases I've seen people not right for months after.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler


    OOnegative wrote:
    You haven’t run one cause your a sissy.....

    A sissy with a plan. Haha. Give me two or three years of good solid 10k training and I'll do some damage when I eventually do one.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,807 ✭✭✭skyblue46


    This!......... Haha.


    All joking aside from my perspective and what I've seen the main upside of racing a marathon is the challenge of running as fast as you can for that distance. The downside, and it seems to be so so common is the recovery after one. In some cases I've seen people not right for months after.

    I'm still not right!


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,807 ✭✭✭skyblue46


    A sissy with a plan. Haha. Give me two or three years of good solid 10k training and I'll do some damage when I eventually do one.

    Out of curiosity what would you consider damage?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler


    skyblue46 wrote:
    Out of curiosity what would you consider damage?

    As in what would my hope be off a first marathon or where what would I hope for longer term?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,807 ✭✭✭skyblue46


    As in what would my hope be off a first marathon or where what would I hope for longer term?

    You said you'll do some damage when you eventually do one....so I suppose that opens up the possibility of you giving an answer to both your first one and longer term 😉


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler


    skyblue46 wrote:
    You said you'll do some damage when you eventually do one....so I suppose that opens up the possibility of you giving an answer to both your first one and longer term 😉

    Haha I'll regret that comment I'm sure.

    Sub 3 attempt on the first one.

    Long term would depend on the appetite for more. Hard to see past my passion for the shorter stuff taking priority but 2.45 or lower would be reasonable I think?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,983 ✭✭✭Duanington


    Why the marathon?

    It's a genuine battle, it's enthrauling at times, envigorating, rewarding, demorolising, punishing, heartbreaking...it seeks out your weaknesses and dangles them in front of your glazed eyes, if the demons come along they're bigger, scarier, uglier, louder and have more time to f*ck with your head....the sense of ocassion is huge, that can work for you or against you of course.

    Its a physical, mental and emotional challenge for most of us, get the legs right and you still have to get your head right, get your head right and you still have to have the heart for the last 8k or so.

    I have a love\hate thing for marathons personally, I skipped them 3 out of the last 6 years to stay focused on enjoying racing and training...having run one this year though, I don't plan on skipping one again for a good while.

    I can't put my finger on exactly what it is that draws me back to them but I suspect it's a combination of wanting to push the body\mind to see where they can go and the real sense that I've never quite cracked the race yet (a 3.03 in Dublin a few years back probably being my most satisfying one to date)


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,414 ✭✭✭Lazare


    Delighted with my decision to abandon it this year.

    Life's too short to be spending half of one of your dwindling years running slow and 10% of it crippled.

    I'll run it next year tho.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,438 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D


    I’m one of those runners who went from 5k to marathon in jig time - over the course of 6 months with no prior race experience. For me at the time it was about maximizing the buzz from that initial 5k. 8.4 x distance = 8.4 x buzz. An interim 10m race convinced me I could go the M distance respectably, which meant a 4 hours target that I of course missed, but not by much. Why did I aspire to M distance? Unclear - possibly cos my dad had run them, but in truth I had never paid any attention at the time, so who knows. ;) It seemed like the challenge at the time. Now I’ve learned that it means nothing in itself - anyone can do it with very basic training. But you have to do it to know and understand that.

    Agree with D about the sense of occasion. The M is the biggest race around, so biggest reward if you do well. Lonely if you feel you underachieved, but it’s all relative. Nailing a marathon performance that does justice to the months of training is one of the best feelings you can have. Is it better than nailing a comparable shorter performance? Hell yeah, for me anyway

    But you can’t focus on it year in year out. Better to try other stuff, learn your chops, expand your horizons by (ironically) retracting the distance, but maintaining or extending the relative goal.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,704 ✭✭✭✭RayCun


    The stakes are highest


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,376 ✭✭✭diego_b


    It kinda depends on what you want to get from it and give to it. In my own case I know what it took to get me to start line and when I started running May 2013 doing a couch to 5K there is no way would I have taken any bet than I'd be able to start to train for a marathon 2 years later. I had the progression through the distances and even having done a few halves thinking crikey it's twice this! You do kinda naturally reach to run further and faster, depending on the person one of those might be more achievable than the other relative to different distances.
    And then it's the training really as much as anything, running 18-20 miles (even around your to homeplace) can feel like reaching the middle of nowhere geographically, physically and mentally. Maybe having to stop for a second as your legs ache and then just picking your head up and thinking 2 more miles come on. That's the training that really comes back to run on race day when in the last 10K your body/head will likely be screaming at your to stop and you will see those around who have succumbed for a variety of reasons but you still maybe have 30/45/whatever minutes left to run and you dig deep and you find it within you to keep going, keep driving on. Looking down at your legs and they are still going and are going to get your all the way home. I shed a tear during my first 5K race and the only race that's done that since then has been the marathon when I've crossed the finish line...the process between training and racing it in ways can make me feel my weakest but yet I know prevailing and giving it my best on the day then makes me feel pretty damn good as I hobble away thinking nah not year...and promptly sign up again within a few days.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 632 ✭✭✭Sorry about that


    Have run 2 marathons, but no great times in either, as I'm a slobberer and undisciplined. But I love running.

    Running has become cool, especially for 35+ers. Those of us who are a bit older know that we're probably much fitter than our parents were at our age, so I think finishing a marathon makes use feel a little of that invincibility of "youth" long after we should.

    The buzz of running a marathon is like no other- from the anticipation at the start, to the support along the route, and finally, over the line, what a feeling.

    The downside; training is time-greedy, and injury is a risk. If injured, no endorphins, very unhappy! (No other exercise gives the same effect).

    Don't know if I'd do another...
    But I'd love to.

    .


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,825 ✭✭✭IvoryTower


    Boring to watch, boring training, you can potentially fall asleep while running one, racing against your watch, its a who can waddle the fastest without collapsing competition


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,807 ✭✭✭skyblue46


    IvoryTower wrote: »
    Boring to watch, boring training, you can potentially fall asleep while running one, racing against your watch, its a who can waddle the fastest without collapsing competition

    Pure gold! :pac::pac::pac:


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,687 ✭✭✭tHE vAGGABOND


    Boring to watch, boring training, you can potentially fall asleep while running one, racing against your watch, its a who can waddle the fastest without collapsing competition
    Did first one as a logical end of a massive weight loss scheme, having gotten into running. The second one was because I was unhappy with not doing myself justice in the first one :)

    But now, having done marathons in Dublin [4 times, two as runner & 2 as a pacer], Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, Chicago, Connemara, Cork [erm..think that's it]..

    ..I use them as training to not get too fat & to meet folks training. I have not gone under 4 hours in a few years. I'm firmly a fun runner! I travel with work and being "forced" to do a long run in a new city is the great way to see it. Nowadays I build the races into trips away to see interesting places. Big city marathons are a brilliant way to see the cities and I enjoy the folks cheering on etc

    But each to their own. I have done more Marathons and WAAAAY more half's than 5k's - but that is my buzz. You can do yours :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,336 ✭✭✭EC1000


    Because people do whatever makes them happy.

    Running a 14 sec 100 meter race is unlikely to live in the memory for too long.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,236 ✭✭✭AuldManKing


    What draws you to the Marathon?
    For me it was the initial challenge of the marathon distance - just getting around the course.

    Then it becomes one of improvement, how do you get faster at such a challenging distance.
    Following that - for me, it became a chase for sub 3, then a sub 3 at Dublin - now its about getting faster again.

    Over the years, I've learned to love marathon training - its my favourite sort of training and at times its a shame that you have to stop the training to do the bloody race.

    For me - Rotterdam and then Dublin (pending a crampless Rotterdam) and then I think I might take a break for year or so.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,250 ✭✭✭coogy


    That's mad, I was out running earlier and the thought of setting up an identical thread came into my head!
    Why the marathon? Well, it's something that I know I've had in me for a long time and I suppose, yeah.... a small part of it was being able to say "yes, I've run a marathon". Not in a showy way. More a "look at me but don't look at me" kind of way.

    I love challenges, especially ones that I know deep down that I'm capable of but that require no small amount of grit and determination.
    I also get a huge amount of satisfaction when I see all the hard work paying off.

    In short, I guess it's just 'my thing' and am loving every minute of it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 620 ✭✭✭Djoucer


    For something to be a challenge, there has to be a real risk of failure.

    12-16 weeks of training and it can all fall part in the final 10 minutes. That’s why a lot of people keeping going back to it.

    Fast 5kms are more impressive but a perfect marathon is much sweeter.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,250 ✭✭✭coogy


    Djoucer wrote: »
    For something to be a challenge, there has to be a real risk of failure.



    I identify with this a lot and its one of the things that keeps me going.
    That said, to experience failure, there has to be a certain weight or degree of expectation placed on you.
    In my case these expectations are all self-imposed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 666 ✭✭✭The man in red and black


    for me it was competitiveness. Two of my friends had done it the previous years and been injured and unhappy with their times. I wanted to see if I could do better and avoid injury. Thanks to finding the mentors on here in the novice thread I managed both and found I love running despite having never run before. Thank you mentors :D


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    I used to live in Chapelizod, so saw it going passed my apartment one year. Had always thought it was something I could do.
    Signed up, didnt train properly, and barely completed it.
    Signed up two years later, as my previous attempt was always annoying me.
    Didnt train properly, but trained much smarter. Completed it in a much more reasonable time.
    Would like one more crack at it, where I train properly and smarter.

    No doubt, if I do another, I'll find a reason for wanting to go again


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,394 ✭✭✭✭Timmaay


    I've been running over 10yrs now and I've never ever given the marathon a 2nd thought, I do say I'll do one in like 10yrs time to tick it off the list, who knows if that will ever come. Equally so I'm lucky enough that I could go out tomorrow and drag myself around the full 26 miles on nothing more than the back of 70min Sunday runs, it obviously wouldnt be pretty and would be something closer to 4hrs than the 2.40 I would be able to manage with proper training, however I'd zero desire to do that either (simply to tick it off the list haha).

    Instead however I absolutely love racing, the buzz of toeing the line, battling with competitors etc etc. The more racing I get done the better, and that's where middle distance up to cross country and the odd few hill runs (which are almost purely about the competition and rivalry here in Ireland) all suit me perfectly well, lots of potential to race, recover within afew days and race again. Against pinning down them one or 2 marathons a Yr and building up all my dreams and hopes into just those few events.


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