How To Run a Marathon If You’re Not a Runner

Can you run a marathon if you’re not a runner?

Yes, yes, YES you can run a marathon if you aren’t a runner.

You can do anything you want to as long as your mindset is set right, that is the beauty of this world.

Hi, my name is Colby,

and I ran two marathons 48 days apart

and I am not a runner.

I am a marathoner, for sure, but I am not anything near what you picture when you think of runner.

What do I mean?

bridge running

All throughout my 2o years of life I have been a sprint athlete.  From soccer, to lacrosse, and my most focused sport: ice hockey, I thrived in sprint sports.  I built myself for power; I could kick a soccer ball 50 yards to the top corner of a net, and I could skate with speed back and forth across an ice rink for 45 seconds 50 times a game.

I have strong legs that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

After I suffered two severe concussions I moved away from team sports.  However, I maintained my strong legs and power through crossfit and weight training combined with interval cardio training.

Then, for no reason in particular, I signed up for my first marathon.

I found myself a nice training plan and got to work.  When I started the training, I had run no further than 5, maybe 6,  miles in years. OK, really EVER.  But, I didn’t care, I put my faith in the 12 week running plan and  got to work.

RELATED: 12 Week Training Plan: Operation Your Best Self

I love a challenge, I really do,

and I would be lying if I said running a marathon wasn’t a challenge.  But, once I set my mind to something, there is no way it is not happening.  So, I pushed through those long, hard, and often ungodly early runs.  The cold ones, the hot ones, the rainy onesI continued to do most of my strength training switching to body weight circuits closer to race day, but I focused mainly on my running.

first marathon training

Post 18 miles

When a new distance came up, I took it on with zero doubt in my mind, and I accomplished it.  Before I even knew it I was running 14.. 18.. 20 miles with no problem.  My legs were still strong, my body hadn’t changed, but I was running…. far.

More importantly, I was in love with running.

No, I don’t have anything near what you think of when you think of a runner.  I don’t have skinnier, lengthy legs.  I didn’t grow up running, or honestly ever really enjoy running until now.  In fact, I have rather short, larger, strong legs.  But, I was running and that’s all that mattered.

I will never forget the one run I did that changed everything.

On my plan I had an 8-miler; however, I was so stressed with school, work, and my living situation, etc. that I ended up going for 18 miles almost without realizing it.  That was the first time I had run that far.  And, for me, that was the very moment that I realized….

anyone can run a marathon.


You don’t have to have ‘runner legs’ or have a ‘runner’s body’, whatever that may be, all you need is a runner’s heart.  

Trust me, it isn’t your legs that will carry you 26.2 miles, it is your heart. 

Everything is a choice.  If you want to run a marathon, or even a 5k, or essentially do ANYTHING, the only– read, the ONLY— thing that can fully stop you, is your mind.  Sure people and things can affect how you think about it, but nothing and no one can decide if you will, or will not, accomplish something except for yourself.  We are all our own worst enemies.  I am even mine– I can’t tell you the number of times I have told myself that I couldn’t do something, or doubted myself and then wasn’t successful.  WELL, no sh!t! The moment you self doubt, you put yourself at an extreme disadvantage.. that is simlpy how the subconscious works.

As soon as you decide that you want to do something, and then you commit yourself to accomplishing that thing, you will accomplish it.  No question.  YOU need to believe in yourself, nobody else can for you.

So, yes, I ran the Philadelphia Marathon (11.20.16) and the Disney Marathon (1.08.17) as my first two long distance races EVER.

colby triolo marathon                colby triolo marathon

How did I do this?

Just like I mentioned above, I simply decided that I wanted to experience it, and take on such a feat.  I simply decided that I wanted to prove the multiple doctors who told me two years ago that I would never run again wrong.

The key is putting everyone and everything else aside and letting yourself take over your life.  

If you are still feeling skeptical, this is key to read: One of the most incredible parts of running these two marathons was the sheer amount of different people I passed, and even those who passed me.  I saw shorter and taller people, I saw smaller and larger people, and I saw younger and older people.  Essentially, I saw every type of person, and each and every one of them crossed that finish line.

So, please, say YES to yourself.

Here, I walk you through exactly how to accomplish this mindset.



Ultimate Guide to Running Your First Marathon

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training for a marathon when you aren't a runer



[…] Motivational quotes are what got me through my first marathon. […]

As a non-runner in a running family, I love this post!!!!

I feel ya sister!

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