Nervous About Signing Up to Run a Marathon? Our Bloggers Offer Tips on Overcoming Your Fears
It’s easy to talk yourself out of being the best version of you. And to play it safe. I’ve been guilty of this.
However, that started to change after I spoke to a friend from the U.K. who had run some of the Abbott World Marathon Majors. She told me that the TCS New York City Marathon was the best race she had experienced. I remember her face lighting up as she described the race and the atmosphere from the crowd.
Hearing about the race—in such a positive light—from someone I know made me think ‘If my friend can do it, then why have I talked myself out of it?”
This was the spark that led me to the 2016 race. And I’ve continued to run, as 2019 will be my third time doing New York City. Each experience has been great, which is why I keep coming back.
If you are scared to sign up for your first marathon, don’t be. As of now, you have enough time to train and build a strong body and mind for the TCS New York City Marathon. It will be the most challenging experience, but also the most rewarding one.
For me, running a marathon is something everyone should do at least once in their lives.
You discover something within you that you never knew existed. A stronger, more capable, better version of you.
I remember signing up for my first marathon, thinking about all those times I finished half-marathons races where I told myself “how can anyone run this distance twice in one race?”
But the challenge was there, so with nine months to train, I decided to do it. The end result was great. If you make the decision to train and live a healthy lifestyle, you are capable of not only finishing a marathon, but experiencing an amazing, life-changing moment when you cross that finish line.
How to Overcome the Nerves? Register!
Many runners who apply to run the TCS New York City Marathon have previously finished a marathon, but what about those who haven’t? The good news is, all of those runners, including me, were once in your shoes.
When I decided that I wanted to attempt the marathon distance, I was excited and a tad nervous. So how did I overcome this? I registered for the race. Once I registered, I now had a goal I could work toward.
So why not make the TCS New York City Marathon your first marathon. If you’re successful, your first marathon will take place in one of the greatest cities in the world and you’ll always remember your first time!
Yes You Can
People see marathoners and think, “I could never do that.”
And sure: Maybe you can't do that right out of the gate. Nor should you. Normally, we all see the pretty finished product: the finish-line photo, the #medalmonday glory, and the post-race poncho (which, BTW, is absolutely suitable attire to wear to the office on Monday).
But you don't just show up in Staten Island and wing it. You train for it. Marathoners spend months training to complete those 26.2 miles. Putting in the work is such a huge part of the fun, of the reward, of the eventual race-day satisfaction.
So don't agonize over race day now—it's months away, and you have so much time to put in the miles, to get strong, and to get your body ready for that five-borough tour.
It’s a Challenge, but It’s Achievable
I understand that both applying and running a marathon can be a daunting task and a big jump to take. Yes, it is a big challenge, but an achievable one, too. The first step is to commit 100% to the task at hand, then look at taking the correct steps to cross the finish line at the TCS New York City Marathon.
Commit to the goal mentally and then surround yourself with the right people to help you get there. Nerves are actually quite normal, but once you cross that start line, they will all disappear.
The Most Amazing Experience
Registering for a marathon is always an important step, especially if it is your first one. Signing up actually requires a bit of courage as you need to have some faith in yourself. It means that you realize you are signing up to run a marathon and that you will have to train and sweat—for months—to reach the start line.
The 2014 TCS New York City Marathon was my first marathon. I registered for fun at the time, as I had never run more than 13K before, and I had no clue what was I getting into. But when I finished the race, I realized it had been the most amazing experience of my life and, since then, I run it every year. The first step was registering.
It Will Change You
Growing up, I was never a runner. I actually hated it at school. I had always toyed with the idea of running a marathon someday, but never thought I would be fit enough to run a 5K, let alone a marathon.
So I started by running around the block–once. I added more and more mileage until I ran my first 10K. It was two weeks after that 10K that I signed up for my first marathon. I had just over a year to build up my mileage. It was one of the best decisions I ever made, and now I’m hooked.
The First Sunday in November
In November 2000, I was wandering around Central Park and couldn’t figure out why the east side of the loop was next to impossible to cross. Turns out it was the first Sunday in November in New York City—marathon day. I was amazed by the sight of the marathon and remember turning to my friend and saying, ‘I’m going to run that next year.’ Well, it took me another seven years to build up the courage to enter the lottery. And I made it in.
I also remember crossing that finish line and barreling into my apartment excited to do it again. I’m so jealous of first timers. To experience the TCS New York City Marathon for the first time is really incredible. So what are you waiting for?
How to Conquer Your Fears
With the fear of failure, we talk ourselves out of challenges. We’re so scared of not being able to do something, we often do not even try. But that is one of the biggest mistakes we can make. We need courage and determination. That is the first step. When I ran my first marathon in 2015, I was unsure about whether I should register. Deep down, I was afraid.
Looking back, my advice is: do not worry about it. I built up the courage to register and there was no turning back. With diligence, patience, and discipline I made my first 26.2 miles. But I was so glad to have taken this first step.
A Life-Changing Experience
When I signed up to my first marathon, I wasn't sure how far it actually was. I couldn't run a mile, let alone 26.2. Back then, ignorance was bliss so I would just take it one week at a time.
It took me six months on a 24-week training program, but I made it to the start line and, most importantly, the finish line. Your first marathon isn't about time, it's about the achievement. The goal is the distance, not the pace. The first step is applying, so go on.
Marathons and running have changed my life. I was overweight and unhappy in my job, smoking and drinking too much. Now I am a student dietitian, freelance writer/blogger, and 11-time marathoner. Having first googled “how to run a marathon,” I now write articles helping others to run their first marathon. The marathon is about so much more than the distance. It will change you, if you let it.
The first step in overcoming your fears about running a marathon is to enter the drawing. Take the first step now.