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How long is a marathon?


Whether you’re new to running or have several events under your belt already, you’ve most likely heard of the famed long-distance event – the marathon! Several marathon events take place across the UK every year, most notably the London Marathon, which draws huge crowds at the starting line, ranging from Olympic athletes to those in weird and wonderful (and very uncomfortable!) costumes, usually to raise money for a good cause. 

The origin of the marathon is said to date back all the way to the Ancient Greek times, when a Greek soldier, Pheidippides, ran from the Battle of Marathon to Athens with a message reporting their victory. The race as we know it today pays homage to the distance Pheidippides ran all those years ago, but you might be wondering, just how long is a marathon, and how do I train for one?

How many miles is a marathon?

For those hoping to complete a marathon it is important to understand the distance of the race to properly train and prepare for it. Those hoping to cross the finishing line of a marathon will need to cover an impressive distance of 26.2 miles, or 42.2km. To put that into perspective, the amount of steps you would have to take to travel 26 miles would be over 5 times the recommended 10,000 steps per day!

Is running a marathon hard?

The thought of running a marathon can a little unnerving, especially if your current fitness levels are lower than you’d like. By setting yourself realistic goals (no need to break any world records on your first go) and training regularly there’s no reason why you can’t confidently cross the finish line on race day.

You can prepare yourself by setting yourself a realistic goal of how long it will take you to run a marathon and plan your training with your goal in mind. Remember, you don’t have to run the whole distance, walk if you need to! It is also important to keep well hydrated throughout the race and dress appropriately for the weather – this includes wearing running shoes that are comfortable and well broken-in. Most importantly, enjoy yourself! If training becomes a chore, try getting involved with running groups or asking a friend to join you for encouragement and support.

 


If you are looking for your next marathon, take a look at our event listings to find the perfect event for you - Marathon Listings