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7 things I learnt from running marathons

By Arvind Pandey
Published in Running
September 06, 2017
3 min read

What running can teach you might be helpful throughout your life.I have run several marathons in the past and believe me each race is different. Each time I get to learn something new. It’s always about me. Running not only kept me fit and active but also my view towards life has changed. The course of 42.2 km can teach you many life lessons in a couple of hours. Like in real life we plan something, we try to execute those and sometimes it works as per plan and sometimes it doesn’t. Same goes when running a marathon. You start the race with some plan in hand, you try to execute those plan and if by any chance the plan didn’t work. What a runner does? Below are some if not all life lessons I learned in past 4 years.

1) Life is a marathon, not a sprint

When you start running a marathon, soon you will realize you can’t just run all out and finish the race. If you tried doing so you will not finish even quarter of the race. You have to maintain a comfortable pace throughout the race. Same goes with our lives, we have to set up a system that we can follow for a long time.

2) You have a plan, what if that fails.

At the beginning of the race, you will feel that everything going as per plan. Slowly that feeling will go away. You will realize your plan has failed. But as a runner, you choose to move forward rather quitting the race. Same goes with our life we fail at some point but the key is to stay for a longer time.

3) Life is not fair and that’s okay

As a runner when you approach 30kms mark, you start getting the feeling life sucks. Everything around you looks nice. Even the person eating junk food roadside will entice you but the fact is you are in a temporary pain. Life is unfair for a certain amount of time and those are the defining moments and it makes us what we become after that.

4) Sometimes it’s okay to feel you are lost

There will be a point during the race you will feel you are lost. You will start questioning yourself, “What the hell am I doing with my life? There are so many other things I could have done but this race”. But when you finish the race, you will confess to yourself. “This is the best thing I have done today and I’m going to do it again.”

5) You can’t control everything but your training

Everything will fall apart, but your training will never ditch you. If you followed any shortcut in your training or you were not honest with your training it will haunt you. So what is left to us is doing our Karma or simply training with dedication and discipline.

6) The toughness of it makes life challenging and beautiful

You can always run a small distance for fitness and it’s totally justified for anybody who wants to keep himself fit. But running marathon needs a level of toughness mentally and physically.I would say it’s always mental than physical. The human body is 100 times more capable than just running a marathon. But our brain fools us and it gives up soon. The key point is staying in the moment, listening to your body and keep moving towards the finish line

7) In the end, it’s either glory or learning, you never fail.

It doesn’t matter in what condition you reach the finish line, it gives you a sense of satisfaction. Doesn’t matter you finished as per plan or otherwise, the bottom line is you finished the marathon. If it wasn’t as per plan, you learned it what went wrong. Adding one more medal to your collection is always a glory.

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Someday, you won’t be able to do this. Today is not that day. - Anonymous


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