There is a secret about training to finish a marathon that no one really tells you.
Even though it’s hiding in plain sight behind a simple Google search, for the most part no one comes right out and says it.
I’m going to do you a solid and spell it out for you:
If you can run three miles, you can train to finish a marathon.
If you Google ‘marathon training for beginners’ or ‘first time marathoner’, you’ll find a ton of really good training programs to sift through. As you click-through all the first-time marathon plans, you’ll probably notice two things. The first thing is that all of them offer up a disclaimer of sorts telling you to spend at least a few weeks working up to the first week’s training distances. The second thing you’ll likely notice is that most of the first couple of weeks in these plans include several three mile runs.
Essentially what they’re telling you is that before you graduate to training to finish a marathon, you should be able to run three miles with ease.
Getting to three miles
For some people, running three miles is a tall order. Believe me, I’m not taking a three mile run for granted. When I first got back into running about six or seven years ago, three miles wasn’t easy for me. In fact, right around the time I got back into running I went for a run with my now brother-in-law who was a was an offensive lineman on his college football team and left me in his dust. You read that right – an offensive lineman could run longer and further than me.
That didn’t deter me. I kept at it. I mapped out a few three mile runs from my house and kept at it. There were days when I’d walk A LOT of the route. There were days when I didn’t feel like running, but I kept at it. It took several weeks of me convincing myself I could do it, but after a good chunk of consistent running, I was pushing three miles aside like it was nothing.
I can’t tell you how long it will take you to get to that point – only you will be able to do that – but if you stick with it, there’s no doubt you’ll get there.
Becoming a three mile runner will put you on the path to be the runner you want to be
The funny thing about running is that for most people, once they reach one goal, they want to hit another.
Once I hit three miles, I couldn’t wait to see if I could do four. Then I wanted to do five. How about seven? Can I get to double digits?
If you’re just starting to run and you’re serious about one day finishing a marathon, finishing your first three mile run is the first step to getting there.