10 Things They Don’t Tell You About Marathon Training

Ok well they probably do, but I didn’t listen or didn’t want to listen.

1. The Hunger

I am hungry all. the. time. I try to stick to healthy foods most of the time so that I don’t actually put on weight whilst running for hours at a time, but after a 20 mile run, anything goes.

Hunger from Marathon Training

2. The Feet

Blisters, callouses, black toenails, lost toenails, dead skin… the less said about marathon feet, the better.

3. The Cost

Running is supposed to be a cheap sport, sadly my bank statement suggests otherwise. Race entries seem to increase every year, trainers need to be replaced regularly, and gels are £1.50 a pop. The more you get into running, the more stash you want!

4. The Kit

I have a drawer dedicated to running/gym kit that is literally overflowing, I can’t help buying pretty new kit when I see it. I swear I spend far more money and time shopping for running kit than I do on regular clothes. I probably should start to pay more attention to my wardrobe so that I look a little more put together outside of the gym than in it!

Not sure onsies count as smart/casual.

Onsies for Marathon Training

5. The Relationships

Sometimes there are 3 people in my relationship; me, Tom and running. Marathon training takes up a lot of time, and involves quite a few sacrifices-some people don’t get that. Tom has finally started to accept that running is a huge part of my life- he’s even completed a few races with me. Leah wrote a great post on marathon training and relationships a few weeks ago.

With that said I’ve made some awesome friendships through running, running gives you a lot of time to chat, plus normal social boundaries don’t apply with us!

Medals from Half Marathon Run

6. The Toilet Talk

It suddenly becomes acceptable to talk about porta loos, bowel movements, the runners trotts, and weeing, a lot. It is my number one goal in all races not to poop my pants. Try not to talk to non-runners about this sort of thing, they probably won’t appreciate it.

7. The Amnesia

Running is not always pain free, however as soon as I cross the finish line I forget about the pain. Same thing with signing up for races. If you’re pushing for a PB it can hurt like hell, but the pain is worth it for the high at the end!

8. The Chafing

Another potential side effect of running, and it hurts a lot. Anything that irritates your skin slightly in the beginning will rub you raw when you’ve been running for a few hours. Scars and sores across your boobs are pretty unsightly, as well as being painful.

9. The Obsession

When training for a marathon, when you’re not running, you’re thinking about running, or recovering from running, or cross training, or reading about running. It is all consuming. I’ll admit it, I have become obsessed with running- in a good way.

10. The Marathon Crazy

‘I’m never going to run another marathon.’ ‘I am never running again.’ ‘I am never going to run another marathon.’

‘I bet I could run the next one faster…’

Medal from Marathon Race

What is the most surprising thing about running that you have learnt? I can’t believe how much I miss it when I haven’t run in a while- coming from the girl who couldn’t run a mile a few years ago! 



  1. March 19, 2014 / 11:34 am

    That I can’t assume! That people built like whippets aren’t always fast and the larger built people will often leave me for dead on a sprint finish! 🙂

  2. March 19, 2014 / 8:05 pm

    Love this! I’m lucky to live on my own and I’m single so I don’t have to worry about the side effects of running quite as much as others might, although I would add that you have to be extra good at time management to balance running with a non running social life!

  3. March 20, 2014 / 8:33 am

    I find that running actually suppresses my appetite and I often have to force myself to eat after a run. Other than that, you’re spot on! I’ve learnt that early bed time is vital so that you have energy early in the morning for your run. 10:30 lights out? Yes please!

  4. March 20, 2014 / 12:41 pm

    Great post, can relate to most of these! Luckily I’ve never had any kind of chafing though!

  5. March 20, 2014 / 12:41 pm

    Great post, can relate to most of these! Luckily I’ve never had any kind of chafing though!

  6. March 20, 2014 / 2:07 pm

    You absolutely hit the nail right square on the head, I couldn’t agree with you more. (I think this suggests that I too wasn’t listening…)

  7. March 20, 2014 / 2:07 pm

    You absolutely hit the nail right square on the head, I couldn’t agree with you more. (I think this suggests that I too wasn’t listening…)

  8. September 16, 2015 / 8:12 am

    I can really relate to a lot of these! Especially the cost. As a ski instructor that already eats into a lot of money each year – skis, goggles, gloves, boots, decent jacket and trousers…. And now I have taken up triathlon. Well done me! Bike (way more expensive than skis!) and bike gear, swim kit, wetsuit, trainers, running kit..
    It really does all add up and then when you come to entering, it’s another chunk out of your bank balance. I chose to only enter three triathlons I really wanted to do this summer and budgeted my way through.
    Great to share these thoughts!

  9. September 16, 2015 / 5:47 pm

    So true. Also the tiredness, nearly all of the time… You think of marathon runners as being these superiorly fit people with bounds of energy but really I could close my eyes for a nap pretty much any time of the day! I love your no.10, so funny but so accurate 😀

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