Six Ways Your First Marathon Can Change You

Womens Running Summer

If you’re thinking about entering a marathon, there’s no doubt it will change your life. 

Being part of the marathon experience is something that will have an impact on you far beyond the number of miles that you do in a single run.

Whether you’ve signed up to take on a 26.2 mile challenge in the future or you’re even just thinking about running one yourself, here are six crucial things you’ll learn about yourself that will help you go the distance.


Feel more confident.

After signing up for your first ever marathon, you might find yourself Googling all the running tips under the sun. You’re worried you won’t finish, you’re freaking out about the training or you could be scared of doing it alone.

But after a few weeks of training, you realise you can do it, you’re in training mode and you’ve told most people you know and shared the news to the world on social media. The more miles you do, the longer the runs get, you start to feel like you can. Give it everything and your confidence will grow with every step.

Anything is possible.

You make it to the start line feeling all kinds of emotions, but there really is only one emotion that sticks in your mind when you complete your first marathon. Pride. (alongside ‘get me a glass of wine or beer!’). All the hard work has paid off and you’re left feeling totally overjoyed by your sense of achievement. 

Character Building

You’re mid-run and you end up giving yourself a pep talk to get you through each mile. There will be runs when you feel like stopping or giving up, but that’s what makes you stronger. 

You overcome the mental hurdles, you set yourself micro challenges like getting to the next lamppost or end of the street. With each training run, things stop phasing you. You zone out. Tune in. You’re becoming a marathon runner through pure grit and determination.

‘If it was easy, everyone would do it.’

Carbs are great.

You will find yourself eating more because you’re training for longer. Carbs will be your best friend and you’ll find yourself sitting at your desk after a long run the day before, belly rumbling, dreaming of your favourite pasta dish. Your body will need more calories to help fuel your long runs but also to aid your recovery. Also make sure you’re getting the essentials in your diet like greens, oily fish and good protein.

You run out of excuses 

Although there are times when you felt like giving up, you didn’t. You did each training run, fuelled your body in the right way and got through countless early morning starts. The next time you are tempted to ditch a workout or think it would have been easier to sleep in, remind yourself you’ve ran a marathon so you can do anything! 

Runner’s High

The feel-good vibe you get from crossing the finish line of a marathon is addictive. Nothing beats the feeling of extreme satisfaction. 

The release of endorphins while running really does give you a sense of euphoria and it’s something you’ll crave again and again. When you think of signing up to a marathon, know that most people who do one will certainly go on to do another. That can only be a good thing, right?

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