Beyond the Finish Line: Why Your Worth Isn’t Measured in Marathons

Open up your Instagram app and someone you know has just ran a marathon. #sundaymorningmiles
Are we seriously normalising the marathon?

In the world of running, a marathon can feel like the ultimate milestone and achievement. However, why does it feel like everyone we know is currently training and running 26.2 miles. (And making it seem like it’s a walk in the park?!)

I’m currently a week out from running Manchester Marathon myself. So you may be thinking I am part of the problem… But this training block has reminded me that 26.2 miles is actually not that normal.
The amount of mental and physical strength I need to complete this run is a lot. But for some reason, as a runner, I felt obliged to run another marathon. Now as I come to the end of my training block, I’m really questioning why.

So if you’re a runner and think you need to enter or train for a marathon to prove your worth as a runner, I’m here to remind you that…

Your worth as a runner is not defined by 26.2 miles.
Your worth as a runner is not defined by what time you run a marathon in.
You are worthy as a runner no matter what.

As someone who shares a lot of running content on social media, and engages in similar content, I think some of us are guilty of glorifying marathon training. The training block, especially in peak weeks, can be a full time job in itself.

Ultimately, running should bring joy and improve your life. It should never be a chore or something that pushes us to the brink of exhaustion, just to say we have ran a marathon. Listen to your body, honor your limits, and find joy in the act of running itself, regardless of the distance.

So just because Joe from secondary school has ran a marathon on a random Sunday morning, doesn’t mean that a marathon is a walk in the park or something that we need to do in order to be a runner.