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3 Stages Of Marathon Training

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A couple of weeks ago I saw a #PGP like this:

Facebook photos of friends running marathons. #PGP

If you were anything like me in college, you were typically a four or more nights a week bar goer. While your liver has gone through countless non-running marathons of binge drinking during tailgates, 21st birthdays and senior year you never would have considered that an actual marathon could be an attainable goal. But several months after graduation, I found myself training for one. During my last long run, when I found myself Instagramming my shot of Gu, it dawned on me: just how did I get to this stage? Apparently, there are stages one goes through during this training process:

1) Thinking about it.

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So you’ve graduated college, and you’re back home/at a shitty internship/sitting around on Tinder waiting around for Mr. Perfect Investment Banker to come along and entertain you. And it dawns on you one morning when you are laying in bed and chugging Gatorade after a few too many the previous night at happy hour. Hey, why not utilize this Gatorade for the purpose it was actually meant for? After all, you could use a challenge. You ran a few philanthropy 5K’s in undergrad, and those were easy enough. God only knows you could use the endorphins and splurge on some super cute running gear. Yes, training for 26.2 would be quite a challenge, but you could NEVER find the time, could you? This thought nags you day after day. And then it happens: you surrender, you pick a training routine that coordinates with your happy hour schedule, purchase a few Lululemon items, and suddenly you’re training for a marathon while looking super cute in all your Instagram pics despite being drenched in sweat and street garbage particles.

2) Getting into it. REALLY into it.

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The first couple weeks sucked. You went through the pain, the blisters, the hungover runs, but then slowly it starts to consume you. You become less obsessed with looking like an idiot/lopsided runner. I first noticed I was becoming obsessed when I set Runner’s World as my homepage. Then I purchased that belt thing that holds my water, gel packets and anti-chaffing gel for long runs, and started to accept the nods of my fellow runners. If you can relate to any of this, you, my friend, are a level two and you can’t sit with us. I identified myself in this stage a couple of weeks ago when I proudly told my friends I ran twelve miles that morning and was met with unsurprised looks. Embrace this stage, love it and flaunt it. Now is the time to passive aggressively tweet “10 mile run this morning #feelinggreat #runnerstan #givemecarbsorgivemedeath” just to one up your frenemies typical “Hungover on the couch all day #AmishMafiaMarathon #fatty.”

3) Awkwardly trying to hide your obsession.

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This is the stage I am currently at, trying to hide how obsessed I am with my training, which is impossible. It’s not that I’m embarrassed, but more or less because I am afraid of intimidation. I was recently out to drinks with someone when I found myself trying my hardest to explain my hobbies without casually mentioning “I’m training for a marathon.” I don’t want to seem like some sort of freak/unfeminine woman for actually getting up on Sunday mornings at 5:30am to run fifteen miles and truly enjoying it. Thankfully this stage is often short lived, as you build up to your peak you decide that accomplishing the twenty mile long run is nothing to hide from. Now is the time to quietly celebrate your accomplishments, mainly because you are too tired to do anything else.

So why does marathon training seem to be such a PGP? Personally, I think it’s because of the challenge and schedule that running has provided for me. But the toned body, cheaper bar tabs and endorphins don’t hurt either.

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