Step 1: Start Running

Yes, Even You Can Run a Marathon


Briefings By Photo by DON HOGAN CHARLES/THE NEW YORK TIMES

So, you’ve just heard that Geoffrey Kirui completed today’s Boston Marathon in two hours, nine minutes and 37 seconds, and you’re thinking, “How the hell is that possible? I could never do that.” You are wrong. Maybe you couldn’t run 26.2 miles quite that quickly, but you could do it. Here’s some quick advice that’ll get you started down the right path.

Getting out of bed for a run at 5 a.m. gets easier the more you do it. Just kidding. But coffee helps.

You’re going to feel bad all day if you don’t get up for that run. But you’ll feel like a champ if you do.

Compression gear is a great recovery tool, but that doesn’t mean you should wear it to the bar after a training run.

Your gastrointestinal issues and bowel movements will become increasingly interesting to you the more you train. Resist the urge to tell your friends.

Join a running club. You’re going to see less of your friends, especially when you start talking about the above GI issues.

GU may be portable, but it’s no substitute for lunch on a work day.

The lanky guy who shows up to the race wearing old tennis shoes, a long beard and very short shorts is probably going to beat you.

He’s also right: running shorts are supposed to be short.

Once in a while, run without a watch, on a new trail, with no plans for the afternoon.

How to Run Your First Marathon

Looking for some more concrete advice on how to tackle your first marathon? See what the experts have to say. Read the Story