The Lone Runner Series: Now Is the Perfect Time to Start Training for a Marathon
Now Is the Perfect Time to Start Training for a Marathon
by Ben Connelly
Some people may feel hesitant about returning to training, but actually this is the perfect time to start training for a marathon. The United States just passed a milestone: 50% of all adults have received at least the first dose a COVID-19 vaccine. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel. As pandemic conditions improve, and as states begin to reopen and relax restrictions, now is the perfect time to start marathon training.
Without downplaying the tragedies of the last year, we can feel glad about the vaccination success. We should acknowledge and pay our respects to those we have lost, but we should also celebrate conditions improving. Running outdoors is a safe and healthy way to celebrate. Especially in small groups, once you and your training partners have been vaccinated. Even for unvaccinated people, the risk of outdoor transmission is very low. And running is a form of celebration that improves your physical health.
Losing Weight and Improving Health:
According to recent surveys, a majority of Americans gained weight during the coronavirus pandemic. If that includes you, training for a marathon (or a shorter race) may help you to lose that extra weight. Even if you did not gain weight, running outdoors will help you to improve your health, especially if you spent much of the last 14 months sitting indoors. Running will improve your cardiovascular health and your endurance. Movement and time outdoors can improve your immune system, and your mental health.
Mental Health – Processing COVID19:
Many people struggled with mental health in the past 14 months. Some lost loved ones. Some suffered from depression in isolation. Training for a marathon can help you to overcome mental pain. Working towards a goal can help you to recover from emotional pain. Running not only releases positive neurochemicals, it also typically requires time outside, which will improve your daily mood, physical health, and overall psychological health. Personally, I find running helps keep me sane. Training for a race can help you to process this past year. It will especially help if you run with a group.
Returning to Community – Running Together Again:
Now that many people have received the vaccine, we can begin to train together again in pairs or small groups. This social outlet not only will help you to overcome lingering sadness, it will help you celebrate the improving conditions. Other runners will also help you train better. They can keep you accountable, help you through training difficulties, and ensure you enjoy training. Perhaps one of the best reasons that this is the perfect time to begin training again is the opportunity to rejoin running communities. We can run together again.
While some people still feel apprehensive, many others feel ready to return to community. Running outside provides a safe, healthy, and positive way to rejoin your local community. It can help you both process the last year, and celebrate the coming good times. Now is the perfect time to begin training for a marathon.
Ben Connelly is a freelance writer and an experienced runner. He has written multiple e-books on running and general fitness, including a marathon training guide, which you can purchase here. You can find him at his Amazon Author page, or at his website.