Like the time Frodo Baggins courageously offered to embark on a Mordor journey in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, I now feel ready to go out of my comfort zone in a running sense. And by that, I mean I’m ready to take the jump and train for a marathon.
I’ve raced over a number of distances in the past year or two – from the mile, all the way up to the half marathon – and think it’s about time I finally flexed my pretty non-existent long-distance running muscles. So rather unlike Peter Jackson’s fictional film, this challenge will be as real as it gets.
Now when I say it’s as real as it gets, I may be fibbing slightly. I’m yet to actually sign myself up to a 26.2-mile race, and I still haven’t competed in anything over half that distance. But, just like my hairy little hobbit friend, I’m ready to take myself to a place I’ve never been before – albeit a lot more safely.
There’s a part of me that knows I’ll struggle initially. I’ll have to adapt to a different style of training, a slower running pace and my diet will need looking at in more detail. After all, the body – excluding the likes of Wilson Kipsang’s – isn’t really designed to cover such a distance at ease, is it?
So while I find the right race, I’ll be slowly keeping an eye on my mileage and gradually raising the distance of my weekend runs. And it’s worth mentioning that, like many of you, I’m a casual runner. But I’d like to train for a respectable end goal, and you’ve always got to give it a real good go.
I don’t have a time in mind (I’m yet to even sign up for a race after all) but I do need to see what the big one is all about. It’s an urge that’ll always be there, the need to give a marathon a go – even if there is no sign of shiny golden rings, magical old men or pointy-eared folk.