Welcome to the Community!
Updated: Feb 2
Hello everyone and welcome to the Marathon Experience! This is the first article ever published here. I hope it will be the first of a long list and the beginning of an incredible experience for all of us who dream about running marathons!
An individual sport? Really?
The concept of running a marathon WITH someone could be intriguing, after all, no one is going to carry you on her/his back if you cannot finish the 42.195 kilometers. But with almost 1.3 million people achieving marathons every year, it would be quite restrictive to call it an individual sport. It is a fact that some people start a Marathon to race it and win it. If you are one of these people, I suggest moving to a much more competitive blog. For these people, yes, a marathon is a very individual sport where they must be better than the others. But if you are part of the 99% of the marathon dreamers and runners who already know that they are not going to win the race, and nor set a new world record, then you can actually treat this so-called “individual sport” as a team sport where anyone is only trying to be better than the runner he or she was yesterday. In the TME team, no one is left behind, no one is training on his/her own, cut from the rest of the world. And TOGETHER we can achieve our individual goals.
How to not be alone in this running world?
I have an incredible revelation to tell you. It is going to disrupt the rest of your lives. There is a secret tool, that allows you to share your experience and receive advice, tips, and encouragement from everywhere in the world, without using anything else than a smartphone. It is called… wait for it… Internet! And more precisely the social media! Wow, that’s impressive! OK, I will stop the joke here. You obviously know what the internet and social media are. But have you ever used them to pull you closer to your goals? It might not always be the way people use social media the most, but it is from far one of the most useful ways to use social media. There is a lot of ways for you to share your day to day struggles and objectives to everyone and then receive feedback, help, and rewards. Let’s make a really short list of these tools:
OK, this one is obvious, there are tons of groups that will suit you. You can share your experience and get a lot of feedback. Do you know what the best thing is? People are 99% of the time, very nice and very supportive. Go ahead share your story and you will get lots of likes, kudos, and encouragements. It will give you a million times more confidence and motivation for your next training or your race. Almost all the race in the world has their Facebook group page, start with the one of the race you want to train for and you will be part of a group with lots of people who have the same goal as you. Let them pull you closer to your goals! You can also join an even bigger community, the incredible Facebook page of The Marathon Experience! OK, I must say that at the time I am writing this article, the community is pretty slim, but that is the best time to jump on and be part of the early members of the TME community. Hopefully, if you are reading this article years after it got published, the community has increased a little bit and you can find a lot of help there.
On this blog, I will try to focus only on things that I know from personal experience. And Twitter is not one of them. So, I won’t be able to help you much there but if you could share your objective and struggle with other persons and get feedback and help, then go for it. The point is: You are NOT alone!
Have I ever told you how much I love Strava? It has all the good points about Facebook with a lot of users, plus the advantage of being specialized for Runners! If you haven’t used it yet, go ahead: subscribe and start following me here. It is a brilliant tool that I will share some more insights into on-coming articles. You can even use the app as your running monitoring device if you are running with your phone. It is a giant bank of information. For instance, I decided to give my real name and to share my Strava profile to everyone so you could all look at how was I running in 2017, or even before. This will give you an understanding of my level. Don’t forget to leave a “kudos” (the “likes” of Strava) as it is always extremely rewarding to be supported while training.
All these tools are the best you could wish for in order to run your Marathon as part of a team and not as individuals. Use them!
And what about the help offline?
Another great source of advice and motivation is reading! You can find any book about great achievements, incredible stories that will inspire you to reach your goals. I will post on this website some recommendations about the books that I have been reading and which have inspired me into running my first marathon. Also, try to read this book projecting yourself in the shoes of this person who achieves this incredible task. Use your imagination to make you feel what it would be like to say: “Yes I did it!” and this will make you better as a runner and as a person as well. The same thing goes for any incredible story you read in a newspaper or seen in movies. And more importantly, it is another way to realize that even if your goals are individuals, the path to achieving them is a team effort!
Step one: start running, and there is no step two…
I love quoting Barney Stinson, the famous character of the TV show “How I Met Your Mother”! On Episode XX of the season XX, Barney is taking Marshall’s bib to run the New-York City Marathon just on the day before. His reaction is that he can do it because no one needs to train for a marathon, you just have to run it. He even says ironically that his plan for running the Marathon is: “Step one start running…. And…. There is no step two”. As funny as I think Barney is, he couldn’t be more wrong. Any objective you will have in your life will need preparation. And a Marathon is a BIG objective that requires a BIG preparation. If you want to get an idea of my preparation to run my first Marathon which will be Paris Marathon in April 2020, have a look at the plan here. You can also download it by subscribing. As an example, after only 2 weeks of my 14 weeks of Marathon training plans, I have run around 100 kilometers (62 miles). And these are the easy weeks. I will let you imagine how many miles I will have run at the end of the training. And all of these, to ensure that I can run 26.2 miles the D-Day in Paris. So in order to achieve your goal, one thing is certain: You need a plan! You can read the article here about how to define your running goals. The good is that again, you are not alone! Ask on Facebook, Strava, forums, websites, blogs, there are thousands of good training plans on the internet. Ask recommendations from your friends about what they are using, etc… You are part of a giant team of 1.3 million of marathon dreamers and runners, never forget it!
In a nutshell:
Running is not an individual sport!
You can seek and ask for help and motivation anywhere (Facebook, Strava, etc…).
Use the tools you have around you to pull yourself closer to your goals.
Take all the experience and motivation from any great story (Books, newspaper, movies, etc..)
Plan ahead and ask people to plan ahead with you
Most importantly: YOU ARE NOT ALONE
If there were one thing only I would want you to remember after reading this is that you are not alone and somewhere, dozens of people share the same goal and dream as you and you have to use them in order to pull yourself closer to achieving your goals. Sharing and helping others, is the only way we could say: Let’s run a Marathon together!