Why You Should Sign Up for a Half Marathon

Let’s be honest. You ate too much high octane food during the holidays. The weather outside was bitter cold, so you ditched your exercise program. You haven’t darkened the door of the gym since the week after Thanksgiving. And the scale doesn’t lie: you’ve gained a few pounds.

Close-up of People Running - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/millsrymer, Image #1957834

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/millsrymer

This is the conversation I had with myself in the mirror on New Year’s day.

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It’s time to start making good on my New Year’s resolution and start training for the Country Music Half Marathon is scheduled for April 24, 2010. If you have had a similar conversation with yourself, maybe you should join me. I’d love to have you come along.

Here’s why I think you should sign up, too:

  1. You will lose weight. I know that’s on many people’s mind during this week. It is better and more healthy than a crash diet. We have had people in our company lose as much as 40–50 pounds just training for the half marathon.
  2. You will get in the best shape of your life. Even if you are not exercising right now, you still have plenty of time to get in shape before April 24. You begin by walking. Some people chose to walk the race itself. Regardless, you will be surprised at how far you can come in just four months.
  3. You will feel more energetic and productive at work. This is a benefit I didn’t expect when I first started. I thought regular exercise—especially training for a half marathon—would sap my energy. It had exactly the opposite effect. I am never more focused and energetic than when I am in the middle of training.
  4. You will have a positive way of dealing with the stress in your life. The stress of modern life takes its toll. The economic realities of the past two years haven’t helped. Training for a half marathon will give you a positive outlet for your stress. You will even sleep better. Guaranteed.
  5. You will have an incredible sense of accomplishment when you finish. There’s nothing like crossing the finish line after running 13.1 miles, especially if you have never done it. The feeling is exhilarating. You will feel rightly proud of yourself.
  6. You will gain the confidence to take on other challenges. This is one of the main reasons I love to run. It gives me the opportunity to tackle my biggest challenge—me. If I can overcome the mental obstacles I encounter on the way to the race, I can put those skills to use in other endeavors.
  7. You will provide an example for others. True leadership begins with self-leadership. When you lead yourself, you inspire others to want to follow. Maybe it’s a spouse, or a friend, or one of your children. They need to exercise, but they don’t have an example to follow. You can be that example.
  8. You can help raise money for a worthy cause. I am running on behalf of New Hope Academy. This is an incredible school in my neck of the woods that provides high-quality Christian education to underprivileged children. This takes running to a whole new level. It’s no longer just about me, but about something significant that makes a difference.

Convinced yet? If you want to run, I suggest you start with the Jeff Galloway method. It’s specifically designed for beginners. You can find his various training schedules here. It basically involves a program of walking and running. It allows you to incrementally improve over time without killing yourself.

Question: What other good reasons are there to sign up for the half marathon?
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  • http://twitter.com/tellmisty Misty Williams

    Hey Mike … just went to share this post on Facebook, and noticed that the content isn’t displaying well within Facebook’s preview functionality.  Thought you might want to test that out and have it optimized so the posts look nice within facebook.

    I have officially become one of those annoying people who point out typos and stuff, trying to be “helpful.”  So sorry.  I actually think you’d care to know this. :)

    Now my blog, on the other hand … is living by the mantra, “Done is better than perfect.”  Thank you, Jesus, Amen.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for pointing that out. I think I have fixed it.

      Unfortunately, there are hundreds of older posts in my archives like this. I have to go in and fix them all manually.

      • http://twitter.com/tellmisty Misty Williams

        Oooohhhh, suck! You didn’t actually do that, did you?  That would be such an epic project …

  • Anonymous

    Amazing how God keeps pointing me to running when I’m so not a runner.  This half-marathon post of yours grabbed me from the sidebar while I was here at your site for another post. I’ve been getting signs from everywhere! God is so funny like that. :)

    My most recent post is about my decision to run: When struggle turns to trust http://bit.ly/mlp8gB
    Thanks for this post, Michael!

  • world top tenz

    nice intersting post
      World Top Tenz

  • http://www.forward-living.com W. Mark Thompson

    This is a good post for me. I’ve been running more and more. Even got a road bike. I’m scheduling my first sprint triathlon in September. As I’m writing this, my knees are aching and I’m still going to get up in the morning and try and run a “best distance”. I’m going for 4 miles. Sounds small, but my body won’t think so. I can handle 3, but seems anything above that is very challenging. The Jeff Galloway beginner format should really help. Glad I found this post. 

  • http://rezaali.net Reza Ali

    Nearly a year ago I was 40kg overweight and suffering from hypertension. I couldn’t get up a flight of stairs without panting and had a heart attack scare a few years ago at age 35. I decided to take a grip on my life and started running. The first time I ran I lasted about a minute. After relearning how to run (POSE Method), getting the proper shoes (Nike Free Air and The Vibrams) and reading Matt Fitzgerald Brain Training For Runners, I have logged over 600km in about 11 months of running. I even entered the triathlon.

    Now I’m only 20kg overweight (and still losing) and am training for my first half marathon and hope to go beyond to the longer distances next year.

    I completely agree with all eight points and would add one more.

    - You will understand the meaning of true commitment. The desire to quit was there every single step of the way and it takes commitment to get through it. I wanted to just give up especially when the pain sets in from incorrect technique.

    I never came across Jeff Galloway’s Method and I just browsed his website. It appears to be very similar to Matt Fitzgerald’s running philosophy. Im going to go through Jeff’s method and see whatI can pick up.

    Thanks for the post.

    • http://rezaali.net Reza Ali

      Oh and the doctors have declared that I am free of hypertension. Everyone should take up running :-)

  • Rob Sorbo

    I might have to give it a try. I had been hoping to try training for a 5K or 10K. Maybe I’ll do that first, and try training for a half later.

    One thing that I’ve noticed is my biggest problem is consistency. It’s hard for me to stick to a  consistent exercise routine. I suppose that trying a demanding training plan like a half marathon would require more commitment than the wimpy 5K plans I’ve tried following.

    I’m nearly 100 pounds overweight and I get achy knees just by standing around, so I’ll need to figure out a healthy way to train until I shed some #s.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Mike! I just signed up for the Vancouver Half-Marathon. Thanks for the motivation.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Awesome, Ken. I am proud of you! That will be a beautiful location.

  • http://staffaction.blogspot.com staffaction

    Don’t just run a half-marathon. Do it barefoot.

    • Mark

      I read about that in the book Born to Run. Have you done one yourself barefoot?

  • Mike B.

    Love it.  If you haven’t seen it, check out Steve Tierney’s journey from comfortable CPA to half-marathoner  to teaching homeless people to run a half-marathon as a way to change their life.  He started a non-profit – http://www.upandrunningagain.com for that purpose.

  • Rajdeep Paulus

    Hubby ran his first half marathon this past March 24th for World Vision. He was my guest blogger as he captured his experience. I still have to do my half…hopefully next year when my heel spur heals up a bit. (pun intended! :) http://www.insearchofwaterfalls.com under the title “A Backwards Sunny Jig Across the Finish Line.” 

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  • http://www.naomiscircle.org/ Kristi

    My husband has run a local half-marathon every year since 2010.  The first year he did it, he ran in memory of our daughters Naomi and Kyria, who we had lost during second and first trimester miscarriages the previous year, and in honor of our then-two-year-old daughter who he pushed the whole way in a jogging stroller.  Since then, it has been a father/daughter labor of love.  This year will probably be the last for him to push our daughter, who is now five.  She has asked to begin training herself, and maybe next year our miracle son will be the one in the jogging stroller, as he will turn two by then.

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  • Jackie Ramos Beyer

    Just signed up for my first 1/2 marathon! Can’t wait till July 14th! Thanks Michael.