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Are You Ready to Train for and Run a Marathon?

Questions to Ask Yourself

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Updated April 02, 2014

lamarathon.jpg Harry How/Getty Images Sport
6. Have you thought about possible training and race conditions?
If you already have a marathon in mind, have you thought about the possible race day conditions? For example, Honolulu is a great vacation destination, but running a marathon in the extreme heat is difficult. You also need to consider when and where you would be training. If you'd like to do a Spring marathon and you live in a climate with cold winters, you'll be doing the bulk of your training in the cold weather. The same is true for those doing early Fall marathons who will have to do a lot of hot weather running. Think carefully about when and how you'll train.

You should also find out as much as you can about any marathons that you might be interested in running. Talk to other runners about their recommendations for first marathons. Find out if races you're interested in have time limits. Visit the marathon's website and check out the comments and reviews at MarathonGuide.com to learn more about the marathon's course and race day conditions.
Also see:
Fast (and Beginner-Friendly) Marathons in the U.S.
Best U.S. Spring Marathons
Best U.S. Fall Marathons
Best U.S. Winter Marathons

7. Have you done your research?
Have you ever watched or volunteered at a marathon? Have you read some books on marathons? Have you talked to people who have completed a marathon? Have you looked at a beginner marathon training program to see what's involved? Are you aware of some of the costs associated with running a marathon? All of those things are good ways to learn more about marathon training and running (without actually starting to train) so you know what to expect and can figure out if it's something you want to do. If you think you'd like to train with a group, research different training programs in your area and see if there's one you'd like.
Also see:
How to Find Running Groups
Charity Running Programs

8. Why do you want to complete a marathon?
Make sure you want to do a marathon for the right reasons. If someone dared you to do it or you're trying to impress your boss, you're probably not going to last very long through the training. You should have some internal goals, like improving your health or proving to yourself that you can commit to the training and complete the race.
Also see: 10 Great Reasons to Run

So, if you've thought about all that and you think you're ready to start training for a marathon, here are some links to check out:
Marathon Training and Running Tips for Beginners
Marathon Training Schedules
Marathon Training and Running Frequently-Asked Questions
Tips to Make Your Long Runs Easier
10 Things to Know Before Running a Marathon

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