Ten Important Lessons From Running Marathons

My friend Doug had recently posted something about his own marathon training experiences, and it got me thinking about my own experiences; I ran 10 marathons between 2001 and 2010, and I have often joked that each year I “learned” something that I probably should have figured out beforehand. (Isn’t that how it always is? Hindsight is always 20/20 after all.)

So in the vain hope that someone else down the line will find these words of “wisdom” (because who am I kidding, this is all looking rather obvious now) and not make the same stupid mistakes/assumptions/errors that I did.

2001: That I could, in fact, finish a marathon.
2002: That I could improve if I worked at it.
2003: That if I slacked off on my training, the results would be worse than expected.
2004: That dropping a lot of weight without shifting to a faster training pace would mean my “easiest” marathon ever.
2005: That it’s better to start off slower and run alone than start off too fast with a group.
2006: That I don’t like training alone.
2007: That I can make it through a training program without including walk breaks.
2008: That eventually, everyone has to cancel a marathon due to illness.
2009: That training for three marathons within eight months of one another will result in burnout.
2010: That by knocking out a tenth marathon in January, it will feel truly wonderful to have a year off from a fall marathon.

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