Running a marathon is a great achievement. Marathon runners are an elite group of athletes who have dedicated themselves to pursuing individual excellence in the form of running 26.2 miles. It is such a test of mental and physical perseverance that only 0.5% of the American population has completed a marathon. Hope to join this exclusive club? Here are some things about running a marathon that you should probably know ahead of time.

 

Stairs will become your worst enemy

For several days after you run a marathon, you’ll want to avoid stairs at all possible costs. Some people find that walking down backwards can alleviate the pain. Elevating your legs at the end of the day is a must in order to ease the pain. Having a friend or family member to lean on is another good way to reduce pressure on your quads.

stairs

 

Say goodbye to your toenails

Blackened toenails, affectionately known as “Runner’s Toe” is common among marathon runners. When runners stride, a tight toe-box mashes toes against the front of the shoe. Many long distance runners will experience their nail's plate ripping away from the nail bed, which ultimately causes the nails to bleed and turns them a lovely shade of black. Some runners will find that their toenails will eventually fall off. If you have dreams of becoming a foot model or enjoy wearing flip flops, you might want to reconsider your marathon ambitions.

Toenails

 

You don’t have to run the whole way

Many people believe that if they walk at some point while running a marathon, this will take away from the experience or is somehow, against the rules. This just isn’t true. Many marathon runners do schedule walking breaks throughout their 26.2-mile trek in order to prevent long-term injury and improves performance. Periodic walking, in training and even in races, can help you run faster because it reduces the impact on your muscles, joints, tendons, and reduces your breathing rate and heart rate.

run whole way

 

You won’t be visiting the pub for a while

Be prepared for your social life to change while preparing for a marathon. Once you commit to running a marathon, training will take over your weekend mornings. This will mean early morning wake up calls and a much earlier bedtime. Suddenly, you won’t be joining your colleagues for post-work drinks or staying out late singing karaoke on a Friday night. Besides, you should be limiting your alcohol intake while training anyway.

pub

 

You might gain weight while training

Gaining weight while training for a marathon may seem like an oxymoron, but it is something that many runners experience. The reason for this is simply because many long-distance runners end up consuming more calories than they burn.  Long runs make people hungry and many runners end up eating more than they usual do because they feel as though they’ve earned it. This leads many marathoners-in-training to notice that while their leg muscles might be getting bigger, so is the size of their stomach.

gain weight