Two years ago, I ran a marathon. I swore on my life after finishing high school track that'd I'd never run anything longer than a 5k or (maaaybe a 10k) ever again. I obviously changed my mind as I have continued training for long distance since and haven't looked back. And I think that with some effort, anyone can run a marathon.

tea, bread, cake, coffee, pizza, beer
Ally Malecha

Running is the easiest sport on Earth. You need virtually no equipment, you can do it anywhere, and it's basic human instinct to run, meaning you can't be bad at it.

Sign up for a race, lace up your sneakers, and get going! Here's some tips to help you along the way.

Train With Friends or In a Group

After graduating from high school, I realized that running alone was way less exciting than running with friends. When I studied abroad in Paris, I found a running group and every week, I went and ran with them. Besides being a great way to meet people, it motivated me to push myself and keep on track with my training.

Find a Training Plan

Pick a distance and search online for a training plan that fits your schedule and your level of fitness. From Couch to 5k plans or advanced marathon training, there's something for everyone.

Fuel Your Body

cucumber, salad
Ally Malecha

One of the biggest mistakes I made while training for my first marathon was not eating enough. When you want to run a marathon and you train upwards of 10 miles a day, what you put in your body is important, but so is how much you're putting in your body. Fuel up post workout to replace the calories you've lost. 

Make a Killer Playlist

If you're running alone and the going gets tough, make sure you have some tunes to keep truckin' on. Try a playlist of food-inspired jams, the sooner you get done, the sooner you get to eat.

Don't Worry About Looking Cool

If you run, then you're a runner. Don't worry about your stride (unless it's causing you pain), and don't worry about trying to look like an Instagram fitness model. People of all shapes and sizes run, and you probably look FIERCE in that neon-yellow jacket.

Recognize That It May Get Tough

I didn't enjoy missing out on social events with friends because I had to get up at 6 am the next morning to run 20 miles, and I was devastated when an ankle sprain kept me from running for a couple weeks. Challenges arise, whether they're from injuries or your personal life. Seek help for your injuries, make time to balance your social life, and keep your head up. 

Be Proud of Yourself

Whether or not you achieve the goal you initially set out to do, take the time to be proud of yourself. You're faster and stronger than you were before. Running is a lifelong sport, and the confidence and community you can build from it will last you forever.