FanPost

Marathon Running And Age: How Young Is Too Young?

(Ed. note -- promoted to the front page)

Hello, runners. Long-time lurker here, first time poster. Let me start by saying how happy I am that we have a running-specific site on the network. It's great to have a place like this to discuss the sport on the wonderful SB Nation platform.

Introductory praise aside, now it's on to the substance of my post. I am a 21-year-old undergraduate who ran cross country for five years (starting in 8th grade) in high school and has since continued to run, albeit not to the level of intensity of those years, during college. I have completed a couple of half marathons and this past weekend ran a great race in a ten miler. I definitely prefer the long race to the 5K, a distance I'm not sure I'll ever be able to bring myself to race again after the anguish-laden memories generated by cross country. As I look into my running future I find myself conflicted. I want to run a marathon, and I want to run it well. If I were to do one I would choose between Richmond and Charlotte, both in mid-November, which would have me starting a traditional 16-week training plan in July. My goal would be to qualify for Boston, one that I believe is realistic based upon my performance in the longer races I've run to date. I've handled mileages of around 50/week before with my only stress injury so far coming during my first year of serious running.

The problem I'm facing is that I'm feeling pressured to take on this challenge right now. Next year will be my fourth, after which I hope to attend law school. I don't see myself having the time to seriously train during the years I hope to spend there. So, for me it's now or not until 3 or 4 years down the line. My question for the esteemed running minds here is, how young would you consider to be too young to tackle the demanding task that is seriously training for and racing the mighty 26.2? I understand that the answer to this question will be highly individualized based on the amount of mileage one has been able to handle in the past, and I think that my chances are good, but I'm looking more to gauge the general consensus on age and marathon running. What challenges might a young first-time marathoner face in attempting this feat? I have several friends my age and younger who are experiencing similar feelings. Thanks in advance for any insight you all may be able to share.

This content was created by a member of the Stride Nation community, and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Stride Nation's editors or SB Nation/Vox Media.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Stride Nation

You must be a member of Stride Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Stride Nation. You should read them.

Join Stride Nation

You must be a member of Stride Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Stride Nation. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.