Marathon Training During A Pandemic

Updated: Jul 23, 2020

If you follow me on social, then you’ve probably seen some of my marathon training posts! And if you don’t follow me – you’re missin out on a lot! You can find my social links to stay up to date at the bottom of this page. :)

Okay. To save the confusion let me clarify somethin before we dive in—I’m running my first marathon this year even if every race on earth gets canceled or not.

Yep. You read that right. It’s very possible that all races for the rest of the year could be canceled. Currently, my sister and I are signed up to run the Sparkasse 3 Country Marathon on October 3rd. The marathon runs along Lake Constance through Germany, Austria, and Switzerland—amazing right? We are so excited!

With the reality of life as we know it for 2020, it seems unlikely that the trip will go as planned this year. And that’s okay. I’m still going to run my first marathon come October AND (assuming the worst) I’ll have an amazing once in a lifetime experience to look forward to all next year. :)

I’ve decided to still move forward and complete this goal in October for a few reasons. The biggest one being that I simply LOVE training! I’ve done two half marathons in the past so I’ve gotten a little taste of long-distance running but this time around it’s been different. And by different, I mean so much better! Maybe it’s the fact that running has become such a source of joy for me during these unprecedented times or the fact that it’s one thing I can actually control right now… more than anything though, I think it’s because I’m a whole lot wiser than when I first got into long-distance running two years ago. ;)

Something about running (especially my weekly long runs) makes me feel so ALIVE and freakin GRATEFUL. Few things in life make me feel the way I do after I accomplish a long run. While I’ve always worked out and even dabbled in bodybuilding (AKA—serious “worker outer” over here) few things compare to how great running makes me feel. It holds a special place in my heart.

It’s amazing what our minds and bodies can do! If you run yourself or have heard a runner talk about the sport, you’ve probably heard the phrase “it’s all mental”—and that it is. Not only is it a mental game—it’s also very personal and I think that’s why I love it so much. In other words, running can be as glorious or as terrible as you make it out to be. For anyone who enjoys mindfulness and meditation, running is an excellent activity in furthering your own enlightenment and connecting with your body and spirit. (*Cue tears* – you guys, running makes me so emotional… it’s hard to explain.)

I get running isn’t everyone’s thing… but maybe that’s because you’ve never experienced that runner's high before. ;) But really though, you only need to experience it once to keep you comin back for more. It’s pure. It’s real. And it’s a beautiful phenomenon that takes place in your mind and body. #BornToRun #GodDesigned

On a real note though, there are SO many factors that can affect the enjoyment of running. Proper shoes, gear, hydration, and intentional fueling (just to name a few) make ALL the difference. In other words, if you hated running in the past don’t completely dismiss giving it another go around. I guarantee if you just start by slowing your pace wayyyyy down you’ll find it’s a completely different experience. #TheWisdomOfSlow

The other BIG reason I’m still training? It’s giving me something spectacular to work towards during these crazy, hard, and uncertain times (Uh, hello 2020). In a lot of ways, it’s kind of the perfect time to be marathon training. For one, working from home allows so much more time to be added back in my day! If things were “back as usual” training and working in an office would make it a lot more challenging. Additionally, no gym no problem! Ha. That’s the beauty of running. It’ll never be canceled. All you need is an open road. :)

Even more important than how amazing running is (at least in my eyes) … I feel there’s a greater lesson to be learned from this. And that’s learning how to radically show up for yourself no matter what and taking care of your own dang needs! And quite frankly, not allowing external circumstances to steal your joy. It’s important to do things that remind yourself of how strong, capable, and resilient you are!

Here’s the thing, there will always be external reasons that will try and stop you from doing or accomplishing something. If it’s not the pandemic it’s something else. Yes, this year has been so challenging in sooo many ways and it has caused us all to become more flexible (and uncomfortable) unwillingly—BUT you can either let the things of life engulf you or you can find your own way to thrive through the obstacles. The choice is yours.

Another reason to keep training? I’m a firm believer in the process. The gap between where you are and where you want to be is the breeding ground for transformation. It’s never simply reaching a goal that changes you, it’s the hard work, dedication, and months of preparation that transform you. We’re in pretty defining times… how you show up and cultivate your own growth right now will determine your next harvest. 2020 will only be “a wash” if you allow it to be.

In case you’re wondering, our “Plan B” will be the Grand Rapids Marathon (October 18th) and if that ends up becoming virtual then my sister and I will map our own route and run 26.2 miles together with the support of our family cheering us on that same weekend. I believe that whatever ends up happening will ultimately be exactly what I need.

Did something I say strike a chord with you? Let me know! While I love sharing about my life, I also aspire to motivate others to show up for themselves in both major and minor ways. We only get one life. Make it count!

What can you do within these next 5 months to make yourself really proud when the year ends? How would you feel if you got in the habit of moving your body every day for at least 20 minutes? Or took the first steps in starting your business or side-hustle? Or poured more time into that hobby you loved? Or devoted 10 minutes a day to writing that book?

It’s important to shift your thoughts and viewpoints now more than ever. Guard your heart. Protect your mind. Shield your peace. Love has a name… turn your eyes to your creator.

Sending love and light to each person that reads this! 💛

If you want to listen to a podcast that totally blessed my life this week I’m linking it here.

The Life Coach School Podcast – Mind Visibility.



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© 2019 by Emily Ferris