How Marathon Training is like Being Single and Dating

Let’s be real: at some point, we’ve all been single. We’ve dated, sometimes successfully, and sometimes we’re sending an emergency escape text to your BFF.

But you know what’s funny? Dating is an awful lot like marathon training. Don’t believe me?

Let’s compare.

  • There’s an app for it.
  • You spend too much money on it.
  • You swear you’re too busy with life to do it, but do it anyway.
  • You’ve been hurt (physically, emotionally and mentally) by it.
  • People love to tell you how you’re doing it wrong.
  • You wonder why other people are so invested in what you do with your own time, money and body.
  • Some are great, some are truly awful, but most are kinda mediocre and forgettable.
  • When you don’t feel like talking about it, people ask you about it.
  • You see how for other people, it goes so effortlessly and you wonder why you can’t have that yourself.
  • Some you’re very eager to go on, some you dread, but most are just well, here we go again.
  • Sometimes you wonder if you really are doing it all wrong.
  • Sometimes you feel really lonely and frustrated.
  • After an incredible one, you’re on a high and life is beautiful.
  • And then a crappy one brings you down again.
  • When things are going really well, you don’t want to say anything for the fear of jinxing it.
  • It doesn’t matter which one you pick, there will always be someone who tells you that you should have picked the other one.
  • There will be times when you’re rolling along and things are going well — or so you think — and then BAM! All of a sudden, out of nowhere, you hit a wall with no way around it. You’re left battered, bruised, and you don’t think you can do this again. In fact, you’re sure you’re not going to do this again.
  • And then you go out and do it again.

Now, if only there was tinder for marathons.  I’d swipe left on, say, a course that was historically too short and right on one that almost guarantees a BQ (I’m looking at you, St. George).

Convinced? What are the other ways marathon training is like dating?

I'm an academic, a runner, and a New York cliché. I write about the science of exercise, training, and the culture of running. My current goals are a sub-23:00 5K (achieved on 4/22/17 with 22:48) and a sub-1:45 HM (achieved on 10/1/17). Now what?

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