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Mar 23, 2019 17:54:55

why marathons are dumb

by @swizecteller | 327 words | 🐣 | 116💌

Swizec Teller

Current day streak: 0🐣
Total posts: 116💌
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You think I'm joking but it's true: Marathons are dumb. This is going to be my fourth.

Here's why it's dumb 👇


Running a marathon at my level has no purpose. 

I'm too slow for prizes or sponsors, too fast to feel accomplished just for finishing. Somewhere in the top 20% of my age group. 

About 100 people will beat me, 400 will be slower.



But it's good for you, right?

LoL no. Running a marathon is among the most unhealthy things you can do to yourself. Bad for your knees, exhausting for your muscles, super stressful to your metabolism. Your whole body suffers.

You do get to eat a lot afterwards though ...


OK but you get the dopamine rush and the sense of accomplishment and the discipline and the mental stamina to power through, right?

Eh, kinda.


You get those from _training_ for a marathon. The discipline and the dopamine and the health effects, all that comes from training for a marathon. Training rain or shine just because the plan says so, that's where the discipline comes from.

Low resting heart rate, good stamina, stuff like that. All comes from training.


The marathon itself is just a test and tests are kinda pointless. The test exists to give a target to the training. But it's the training that benefits your life.

Ideally you'd train for a marathon and then not actually do it.


Regardless, I think everyone should run at least one marathon. 

Your first marathon is super exciting! It's new it's challenging you have no idea what you're in for. That feeling is amazing. Nothing like it in the world.


I guess it's fun to know how far you can push your body. For months and years after a marathon you get to blow people's minds with things like "That one time I could keep an average heart rate of 170bpm for 3 hours straight" and they go wow and you feel great.

While it's happening, however, it just hurts 😅

Originally published at twitter.com

  • 1

    @swizecteller "Ideally you'd train for a marathon and then not actually do it.". I love that! It'd require a lot of willpower, probably more than simply running.
    I tried to prepare one, and nothing good came out of it (multiple injuries due to unrealistic training). I figured that a marathon was something I wanted to have done (and be able to say I had done) more than something I wanted to do. I was not having fun in the process of preparation, and when I figured that my goal was pointless, I gave it up. Now I do the opposite: I run and exercise for fun, without goals (besides reaping the health benefits). We compete against ourselves enough in life, I don't need/want this one.

    Clement avatar Clement | Mar 25, 2019 14:16:54
    • 1

      @clement I heard in a podcast once that training for running is the most ridiculous thing in the world. Throughout your training the overarching principle is "Avoid injury. Do not overtrain"

      But when you're racing the goal is "Go all out. If you don't collapse after the finish line you had more to give"

      So the way you train and the way you race are VERY at odds. This is unlike any other sport.

      Swizec Teller avatar Swizec Teller | Mar 25, 2019 23:29:52
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