Do You Have To Love Running To Run A Marathon (Read 337 times)

Driver, Runner, Bestie

    So I am at the point where I think I might want to run a marathon.  I have been at this cross road before and then I retreat back.  I am completing my 5th year of running a yearly half marathon.  I average about 30 miles per week each year.  I get out for a run nearly every day.  But mostly, its an easy 4 or 6 mile run, just an easy pace.  Those are the runs that I love (most of the time).  The problem comes with the long runs.  Its kind of a dreadful thought until its over.  And I don't particularly like it when I am running it.  I am always very happy to get it done, pleased with myself and back in love with running for the rest of the day.  The longest I have gone is 14 miles and, in hindsight, it was fine.  I guess I don't know if I can get through this mentally as well as the physical aspect.  Do I have to love running to do this?

    Doc, my tooth hurts

      No you don't.


      Me personally I learned to love the long runs after doing so many of them.  I feel like anything is running is like "OH NO HOW AM I GOING TO DO THAT!"  Then I do it and it's not a big deal after. Either run the marathon or don't, it doesn't make you more or less of a runner either way.

      And in the end...

        Why do you want to run a marathon?  You seem happy running for health and fitness, and you seem to enjoy distances up to the half-marathon.  If that is what you love, why push yourself into the marathon?


        Fuck it. I'm gonna PR this fall. Let's do this.

          I think I may have offered you my perspective on this in another thread already, but here goes again.  The strictly logical answer to your question, if you were to ask me in court, Mr./Ms. Prosecutor, is no.  But "yes" sure helps a lot.  Without "yes", I think the odds of it being a horridly miserable experience are much higher, as in approaching certainty.

          - Joe

          We are fragile creatures on collision with our judgment day.

            You don't have to love running to run a marathon.


            However, if you don't love running I don't know why you would want to run a marathon.

            "When a person trains once, nothing happens. When a person forces himself to do a thing a hundred or a thousand times, then he certainly has developed in more ways than physical. Is it raining? That doesn't matter. Am I tired? That doesn't matter, either. Then willpower will be no problem." 
            Emil Zatopek

              I don't think I love running and I'm about to run a marathon.


              I don't hate running anymore (I used too), but I don't LOVE it.  Sometimes I catch myself actually enjoying it now and then, but mostly I love the results that it gives me.  Being in shape and having lost 45lbs since I started running a couple years ago are for sure big reasons why I run.  It is starting to grow on me more and more though.  I think I would have to say I Like running now.

              Age: 49 Weight: 202 Height: 6'3" (Goal weight 195)

              Current PR's:  Mara 3:14:36* (2017); HM 1:36:13 (2017); 10K 43:59 (2014); 5K 21:12 (2016)

              Feeling the growl again

                There is more to running than marathons.  You are not less of a runner if you don't do one.  Do what you find fulfilling.

                "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand


                I am spaniel - Crusher of Treadmills




                  You don't have to love running to run a marathon.


                  However, if you don't love running I don't know why you would want to run a marathon.




                    While I agree with those who ask "Why do you want to run a marathon?"  I've got a slightly different perspective.  I used to be a long distance hiker.  I met a fair number of people who were thruhiking the Appalachian Trail who really didn't enjoy hiking or camping.  Most of them went home fairly quickly when confronted with the reality that thruhiking is all about hiking and camping.  Yet some of them did make it all the way from Georgia to Maine, either because they found other parts of the experience that they really enjoyed (the community of hikers, the physical/mental/emotional challenge, etc.) or they had a very strong internal motivation to finish. (One guy had basically failed at everything in life he had tried.  He really NEEDED to succeed at his thruhike.  I also knew people who hiked in honor of a friend or family member who had died before realizing their dream of thruhiking.  Some had too much pride to admit to family and friends that they couldn't hike 2100 miles after all.)


                    So, if you have a strong motivation, and a lot of stubbornness, you can probably run a marathon even if you don't enjoy long runs.  But consider whether the cost (esp. months of serious training that you really don't enjoy) are worth whatever reward you think you'll find.

                    Regular ass person

                      I hate running.


                        If you spend a lot of time on any endeavor, you have to ask yourself why it's important to you. That's true whether you're talking about running or any other activity.

                        Mostly harmless

                          No. I don't really LOVE running and I've run a couple. What I do really enjoy (love?) is pushing myself to try things that are hard to do.  Right now I do that with running.  Maybe in a couple years I'll decide to learn how to make crystal meth and focus on that instead.

                          "It doesn’t matter how often you do it or how much you accomplish, in general, not running is a lot easier than running." - Meb Keflezighi


                              Maybe in a couple years I'll decide to learn how to make crystal meth and focus on that instead.

                            are you Walter White? :-)

                              Different people have different goals to accomplish a marathon. Some want to lose weight. Some want to tribute to a loved one. Here are my reasons why I decided to train for the coming marathon instead of just 10K or HM after running a 5K.


                              1. To increase my lung and heart capacity.

                              2. To increase my full body muscle mass.

                              3. To increase my muscle flexibility.


                              It sounds bizarre because just running doesn't really help 2 and 3. However, because a marathon is such a big challenge for a beginner, I have to improve a lot of other areas (legs, core, chest, shoulder)  in order to stay well balanced to avoid injury (I didn't manage to keep injury free though). So I spent more time doing other cross workouts and yoga apart from the running.


                              I have 4 more weeks to face the challenge and I think I have accomplished all the above three goals.


                              I don't like race, by the way. It hurts!!!

                              5k - 20:56 (09/12), 7k - 28:40 (11/12), 10k trial - 43:08  (03/13), 42:05 (05/13), FM - 3:09:28 (05/13), HM - 1:28:20 (05/14), Failed 10K trial - 6:10/mi for 4mi (08/14), FM - 3:03 (09/14)

                              Driver, Runner, Bestie

                                Mostly I think I want to run a marathon now because I worry at some point in my life, that opportunity will be gone physically as I age.  I don't want to look back at my life and not have accomplished the Superbowl event of this sport.  Does running a marathon validate me as a runner?  No, but I think I might regret never having done one, especially in light of having run so many half marathons.  It is more of a life accomplishment then a life dream, if that makes sense.  It is hard to explain, as running is so unique and individual to each of us.