Running a marathon: the grim truth

marathon mind

Muscle exhaustion, dehydration risk, deployment of energy reserves and swelling are some of the possible consequences of running a marathon.

However, not everything is bad news, since running 26.2 miles is a significant event in a runner’s life. “If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to experience a different life, run a marathon.”, that is how Emil Zátopek, the runner that won the gold medal on 3 miles, 10 miles and the Helsinki marathon 1952 in just 8 days, used to define it.

To have a successful race and not to suffer it, it is necessary to know the distance and respect it and train accordingly to face it.


When deciding to run a marathon, it is vital to know and accept that you will sooner or later suffer the consequences of physical and mental exhaustion caused by running 26.2 miles. During 26.2 miles and after running a few hours, many things can go right and many others can go wrong.

Marathons, apart from being an extreme physical challenge, are also a mental challenge, since coping with tiredness and trying to keep concentrated can be difficult.

We are not trying to scare or discourage you, but in order to avoid disgusting surprises (especially for newbies), it is important to highlight that running a marathon can be hard, especially if you have not trained correctly for that distance.

For that reason, we recommend the following:

– Train intelligently in accordance with your goals and possibilities.

– Avoid running a marathon without having trained enough (if you have not beaten the 9.5 miles during training, it would be senseless trying to run 26.2 miles).

– Do not be reckless during any moment of the race; the marathon does not finish until you reach the finish line.

– Meet your goals, respect the distance and run at a pace you can keep throughout most of the race.

– Get used to running with tired legs (you may get some ideas from here

flickr photo by tomaszd shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license


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