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Marathon Running

This weeks marathon Monday is about  different goals and strategies  runners use to accomplish ones major goal, running a marathon. I personally have run three marathons and qualified for Boston twice.  The second time I qualified for Boston I almost met the men’s standard for my age (at the time under 35).

Most runners don’t run a marathon to win.  Each individual had their own goal. They run for their personal best time and placement within their gender or age group, while other run just to finish.  Runners have several goals as well as several different strategies for completing the marathon.  Two strategies include runners running the entire distance, or a combination run-walk to finish the distance.  The most popular run-walk approach is to run from water stop to water stop, and walk through the water stop area to ensure that fluids are consumed instead of spilled.  Another approach that uses the run-walk method is run a specific distance for example 4 miles then walk several minutes for the entire 26 miles.

Other goals runner set are to break certain time barriers like 4 hours, 3 hours.  More competitive runners may want to met a specific qualifying time.  The Boston Marathon, the oldest in the US has qualifying times a runner must met in order to enter the race.  The New York City marathon has a qualifying time for guaranteed entry into the race which is slightly faster than the Boston standards.  The Marine Corps Marathon has a qualifying time but it is not to attract the faster runners but is motivated more because of the need to reopen city street in a limited amount of time.

In 2005 the average marathon time in the US for men was 4 hours and 32 minutes and 8 seconds.  The average time for women was 5 hours 6 minutes and 8 seconds.  As marathons quickly become more popular often the only way is to get registered in some is to run the race for a charity.  The biggest group is Team in Training.  The individual gets into the race and raises money to support the charity.

Next week the topic will be training for a marathon.


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