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Benefits Of Marathon Running

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There are numerous personal reasons why someone would want to train for and participate in a marathon, whether they are an experienced jogger aiming for a new goal or a beginner runner motivated by a friend’s race victory.

Certainly, there are numerous justifications for not participating in a 26.2-mile race. You might convince yourself that it is excessively challenging and distant.

You may feel afraid of getting injured and may not want to face the challenges of losing toenails, dealing with swollen feet, or enduring constant soreness, which leads you to convince yourself to give up on your marathon aspirations. However, deep inside, you can’t help but ponder what it would feel like to invest effort in training for a marathon.

Despite the fear and pain involved in running a marathon, engaging in the preparation and completion of a race can provide multiple advantages for one’s physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. There are numerous justifications for participating in running, and the subsequent list consists of 26 reasons, corresponding to each mile in a marathon, that support the notion of commencing training at this moment.

Benefits for your physical health

Running is an excellent aerobic workout because it’s a weight-bearing, total-body activity. Studies show that running as little as 5 to 10 minutes a day is associated with a significant reduction in the risk of death from cardiovascular disease. 
Over time, running helps your heart pump more efficiently by keeping the arteries elastic. Cardiovascular exercise also lowers your blood pressure and bad cholesterol, but increases good cholesterol, thus reducing your risk of heart disease.

Running is a high-impact activity. Regular running, including marathon training, is one of the most effective forms of exercise for improving bone density, making your bones stronger and less prone to osteoporosis and fractures, particularly later in life. In addition to improving bone health, running can also improve the health of your joints and decrease the risk of arthritis.

Running can improve your mind at any age and fight age-related cognitive decline. Marathon runners tend to perform better on cognitive tests and have better brain function overall. The physiological effects running has on your brain can help you be more creative, resilient, and improve executive function. 

Running burns more calories than most other activities. Running a marathon is a high-intensity, total-body workout, so it is one of the best ways to burn calories and maintain a healthy weight. 

Research has found that running for 30 minutes in the morning can improve the quality of sleep at night. And the more you run, the greater the possibility of enjoying deeper, more restful sleep.  

Numerous studies have shown that running increases lifespan due to greater cardiovascular fitness, better body composition, lower cholesterol, stronger bones and positive neurological functioning.

Benefits for your mental health

Long runs have a significant impact on improving your mental strength and forming effective strategies to tackle running continuously, regardless of challenging circumstances. Running a marathon will also allow you to acquire the following advantages.

Engaging in regular exercise, such as marathon training, releases endorphins and boosts serotonin levels, leading to improved mood, reduced stress, and enhanced mental well-being.
One of the main benefits to running is the feeling known as “runner’s high”. This happy feeling is the result of endorphins, the natural, feel-good hormones produced by the body. Even a 30-minute run can lift symptoms of depression and boost mood, according to scientists. 

Hitting the pavement is one of the most effective ways to clear the mind. Studies have found that marathon training increases self-esteem and psychological coping mechanisms for stress, anxiety and depression.

A new outlook

This famous saying captures the essence: “The individual embarking on a marathon undergoes a transformation and emerges as a changed person upon reaching the end.” The knowledge of possessing the determination and resilience to persist, even in moments of doubt or anticipated failure, will remain with you always.


At every turn, you can find inspiration, whether it’s from a wheelchair racer who is a double amputee, a 73-year-old grandmother running her 35th marathon, or your own children holding signs that say “We love you!”

Improved motivation

In order to successfully train for a marathon, it is crucial to have one scheduled on your calendar as it will serve as a constant reminder to stay motivated and stick to your training plan. Whenever you find yourself lacking motivation, you will be reminded of the potential negative outcome of being undertrained, unable to complete the marathon, or having to cancel, and thus, you will find the determination to continue training.

Benefits for your soul

Running a marathon has benefits for not only your body and mind, but also for nourishing your soul.

Support for a good cause

By participating in marathons that support charitable causes, such as disaster relief and cancer research, individuals can stay motivated, connect with fellow runners, and enhance the significance of their training and races.

New friends

Joining a running group is an excellent method for getting acquainted with new individuals who share similar interests. As a matter of fact, many runners make enduring friendships or even find their potential life partners by participating in running groups.

Stronger relationships

You have the option of persuading a friend or family member to join you in training for a marathon. Engaging in training sessions and going to the race together is an enjoyable method to strengthen your relationship and share quality time.

Being a role model

When someone is dedicated and determined to accomplish a significant goal like running a marathon, it becomes challenging not to have respect for them. You will serve as a fantastic role model for numerous individuals in your life.

Gestures of love

Running a marathon is definitely an endeavor that is worth being accompanied by the sight of your friends and family on the sidelines, holding a sign that is specifically made to be funny or inspiring, as it creates a unique and amazing feeling.

Benefits for your personal development

By signing up for a marathon, you will immediately sense a feeling of achievement. As you begin training for the marathon, you will observe various transformations and advancements within yourself.

Staying busy

If you find yourself with additional free time due to recent life changes such as retirement, a break-up, job loss, or an empty nest, now would be an opportune moment to consider training for a marathon since it requires a substantial amount of time.

A new community

If you have only been a casual runner so far, preparing for a marathon will force you to immerse yourself in the runner’s subculture. You will start using running acronyms and engaging in frequent conversations about running.

Goal-setting is a great way to improve productivity in any facet of your life. Training for a marathon means setting targets and sticking to them. Research has shown that goal-setting is one of the easiest ways to increase motivation and productivity. With your goals in place, you can plan and prepare for how you’re going to achieve them. 

A sense of accomplishment 

Running a marathon is one of the most physical and rewarding challenges you can set for yourself. After you cross the finish line, you will feel like you can do anything if you put your mind to it. 

Proof you’re an athlete

While it may not be the sole motive for training for a marathon, proving skeptics wrong about your capability to accomplish a remarkable physical feat is an additional perk.


After completing a 20-mile run, you will feel empowered and capable of taking on any challenge. Don’t forget to rest and recover before taking on the world. This boost in running confidence will also positively impact various aspects of your life, including work and relationships.

Fun benefits

Sometimes, due to the immense mental and physical energy involved in training for and running a marathon, one can easily overlook the level of enjoyment experienced. However, it is important to acknowledge that the overall experience offers plenty of fun.


If you have a passion for traveling, participating in a marathon provides a wonderful opportunity to explore a new city or country. Through the race, you will have the chance to discover various parts of the local area, and there is even a possibility of securing discounted hotel rates exclusive to marathon runners.

New running clothes

In order to avoid constantly doing laundry, it is important to have multiple running outfits, including running shorts, since running will be a frequent activity. Rewarding yourself with new running gear is an excellent way to acknowledge your commitment to training.

Local discoveries

If you usually run or race shorter distances, preparing for a marathon will require you to discover new running locations because you will be running a significant amount and will become uninterested in the same routes. Seek suggestions from local runners or visit to find suitable places to run.

Finisher’s swag

No matter if it’s a medal, a shirt, or an impressive finishing photo, you will receive something that acknowledges your accomplishment. While you may not constantly wear or admire it, this token of your running ability will be available as a concrete reminder whenever you require it.

Bragging rights

Once you complete the race, you become a marathon finisher, a title that will permanently belong to you and cannot be taken away by anyone.

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