Why Runners May Procrastinate About Entering a Marathon

I am sure that this is a familiar situation for many recreational runners – you have been thinking of running a marathon for a long time now, but it has never actually happened. Seeing yourself at the finishing line of the marathon has remained as nothing more than a dream.

Running a marathon isn't easy, but can be achieved.

Running a marathon isn’t easy, but can be achieved.

And every time you are all ready to sign up with the credit card, you find yourself hovering over the payment button to register – because you don’t quite dare to click it.

Here are some of the common reasons why runners may procrastinate about registering for a marathon.

1) Think there is no time for training

A perceived lack of time is one of the main reasons for the procrastination amongst runners. Because of work and family commitments as well as the need for social and recreational time, some runners may feel that there is a lack of time for training – so they procrastinate about entering a marathon.

But if you allocate a slot in your day for ‘marathon training’, like you would do for ‘family time’ and ‘work commitments’, then you will be able to find the time. It is basically all about prioritisation and how you organise yourself.

2) Intimidated by the distance

For recreational runners, 26.2miles (42.195km) sounds very intimidating and you may not believe that it is possible to run such a long distance, despite the fact that your family members and friends have been encouraging you and they believe that you are capable of running the full marathon.

So you have to try and change your mindset and believe that a marathon is indeed possible. Once you do, then things may fall into place and you could just find yourself actually clicking on the “Register” button, the next time that you encounter the marathon registration form.

Marathon runners in action.

Marathon runners in action.

3) Scared of injuries

As the marathon is a very long distance, some runners may be afraid that if they commit themselves to training for one, they may sustain an injury. And if that injury occurs too close to the marathon race day, then it may put them out of the marathon altogether. So some runners may feel that the safest thing to do, is to not register and commit to training for it, in the first place.

But if completing a marathon has always remained as a dream of yours, then why are you thinking about the negatives in the first place? And what’s preventing you from ticking this off as having been done, on your bucket list? You should think of the positive aspects of running that marathon and about how you are going to get stronger and more capable after each week of training. And this could spur you on to actually commit yourself to the marathon training and completion.

4) Think that only elites can run marathons

It is true that marathon running is an Olympic sport and the leading marathoners can run the 26.2mile distance in just over two hours. But as a recreational runner, do not let this speed intimidate you. Not everyone is able to run a marathon in this length of time.

After all, nobody is asking you to train for and run a marathon in two hours, if you fall into the weekend warrior category of runner. For example, people from all walks of life run marathons – and some of the slower runners in every race take up to even seven or eight hours to complete the 26.2miles. Yet they are still respected marathoners in their own right. You could aim for this instead – which you will probably find much more achievable.

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