The marathon is a race that obviously takes some training and is a goal that is sometimes in the minds of all runners. You may have been training for a while, a few long runs here and there, then the talk of a marathon comes up. You either scoff at the idea, or it slowly marinates in your brain. The thought of 26.2 miles of forwarding motion is pretty intimidating. Today is June 22nd, the Bismarck Marathon is September 19th, as I sit here on my comfortable chair, I have some ways to motivate you if you are pondering your first marathon. Years ago I ran 14 of these - Boston three times, New York City once, so I am well aware of what it takes to finish one.

Let one thing be clear, time should never be a factor when you are in your first marathon. The race is so long, and your mind will mess with you a trillion times over, but the finish line is your main purpose. If you try and run five miles, and walk for ten minutes, then repeat the process again - perfect. Don't beat yourself up over it. Take the marathon at your own pace. Some people say you need to run ( run/walk ) 20 miles on your long runs in training, to that I disagree. Remember now, I am talking to those who have never finished a full 26.2-mile race. My feeling is that if you can finish 13 miles two or three times before the race, the excitement and your adrenaline will carry you to the finish line. Completing a marathon is something you will never forget, it's a huge accomplishment of mind over matter, and I'm not saying those that finish one can immediately go walk barefooted over hot coals. Never rule out what you can do! For more on the Bismarck marathon, click here! Get motivated!