Last March I completed my the full 26.2 mile Napa Valley Marathon and being my first marathon the training was intense.
I think marathons are a great way to get motivated towards training but I don’t think it’s a great long-term way of burning fat and looking great.
If you see a lot of big time marathon runners you’ll notice that they look like they haven’t eaten in weeks and they’re bodies aren’t very attractive. Read this post to learn more about this.
Since I live in the Napa Valley I thought it would be great to have home field advantage for my first (and maybe my last) marathon and it didn’t disappoint.
I got first got inspired to train for the Napa Valley Marathon after my Mom passed away the previous summer from battling cancer and really needed an outlet and a change in my training.
A marathon seemed ideal and it totally pushed me to my limits and got me out of my training “comfort zone.”
Maybe I should’ve done the half marathon (13.2 miles) before doing the full thing but I’m a big believer in the saying, “go big or go home.”
I can still feel my legs aching after I crossed the finish line at Vintage High School and it felt like somebody had dipped my legs in gasoline and lit them on fire. It was hard walking the rest of the day but tomorrow I was ready to go back to work.
But I have to tell you it was all worth it when I crossed the finish line and the feeling of accomplishment you have is indescribable. While body is beat up but you have such a high from crossing the finish line that you can’t help but smile and feel great about yourself.
I’m not doing the marathon this year but that doesn’t mean I’m gone for good. Maybe I’ll take my game up to the next level and go for a triathlon!
Some tips I would give to those runners wanting to run the Napa Valley Marathon or any marathon for that matter would be to…
1. Start your training AT LEAST 3 months before the actual marathon and I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending up to 6 months for those who aren’t very active and out of shape.
2. Have a battle plan with your training, do some 20 mile runs every other week to give your body a taste of what a REAL long run feels like. Also be sure to start tapering off your runs in the last couple weeks before the big day.
3. Have an amazing support team behind you. If you don’t have any friends then join a local Team In Training program to help inspire you and to raise money for those who need it.
4. Make sure you’re taking care of your body. Many first time runners get plagued with injuries from all the impact of running. Make sure you’re doing some resistance training, getting enough rest and eating the right stuff with ample amounts of calories.
5. HAVE FUN. This is what it’s really all about! Motivate a friend to join you in training for the marathon and join that Team In Training program. Whatever it takes for you to have a good time and to inspire others to lead an active life will be the best thing you get out of doing a marathon.
Please share your marathon stories too or if you want to know more on how to get started for your first marathon!