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

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

What Nobody Tells You About Training for Your First Marathon

How To Get Through Long Runs

How To Run Strong in The Rain



training for a marathon when you aren't a runer

Posted by colbytriolo in empowering talks, workouts, 3 comments
Ultimate Guide to Running Your First Marathon

Ultimate Guide to Running Your First Marathon

Running your first marathon is thrilling, nerve wrecking, tough, and simply amazing all in one 26.2 mile wide bundle.  When you cross that finish line and get wrapped in the foil blanket, the rush of emotions will hit you; you did it… you ran your first marathon, an accomplishment that comes once in a lifetime.

But, of course running your first marathon is not an one day endeavor, there are months of  mental and physical preparation.  A few days ago, I shared What Nobody Tells You About Training For A Marathon and now I want so share with you tips on training for and running your first marathon.

colby triolo marathon

Me, after my first marathon

The Ultimate Guide to Your First Marathon:

Tips on Training for Your First Marathon:

Build a killer playlist.

Use the 16-20 weeks that you are training to build a playlist that will motivate you on race day.  The last thing you want is to be throwing random songs together the night before your big day.  Aim for 4-5 hours of music.

Here is my playlist , feel free to do with it as you please.

Long runs are the most important.

Treat your long run days like you would treat your marathon day.  This means fueling for it the same way, and treating it mentally the same.  I suggest trying to do your run around the same time it will be on race day.  Also, keep in mind that your long training runs will be the most important, if you can’t do all of your runs for the given week, prioritize your long ones.  Check out some tips on getting through long runs.

BONUS: Tips on Running Strong In the Rain

Don’t give up

Training for a marathon should add to your life, it should not take away from it.   Yes your training is incredibly important, but do not put your life on hold.  Don’t say ‘no’ to all the opportunities with family and friends.  Don’t cancel plans the entire day after a longer run because you want your legs to recover. Yes, it is important to recover, but it is also important to live your life.  

Strength training is important, too.

I do not want you to head over to the gym and knock out a PR on your squat, but I do want you to keep in mind how important it is to strengthen your muscles.  Not only does strengthening assist in keeping your stride balanced, but it reduces the risk of many injuries. Exercises like planks, squat and press, and back extensions work the muscles that keep you balanced while running.  Start with these exercises.

It will be tough, but you are tougher.

You signed up for this race, somewhere inside you, even if deep down, you knew that you could do it, and you can.  When training runs get tough, think about that feeling you are going to have when you cross the finish line.

First Marathon Race Day Tips:

Have a mantra.

“You Make You” , “All walls have doors”, “Think strong, be strong, finish strong”.. here is a great list of mantras.  When you hit the wall, when miles get tough, having a mantra will help you through.

Take out your headphones.

If you are running with headphones on race day, take them out for a bit.  Trust me, I am all for that killer playlist, but hearing people you don’t even know cheering you on, and chatting with other runners is all a part of the experience. For me when I was struggling at certain miles, taking my headphones out and listening to the cheers helped me a ton.


Nothing new on race day.

This is where I went wrong.  Do not, I repeat, do not, try anything new on race day.  All the way from what you eat for breakfast, to what kind of underwear you wear.  For me, I took Sudafed because I had a cold, which kindly left me extremely dizzy for 18 miles.  Don’t do it!

Remember your training.

You trained for this, you got this.  Stick to your training and you will finish strong.  It is most important to keep this in mind the first few miles of the race; you will have adrenaline and want to start off fast, but do everything in your power to start off like you would during a training run, you can always speed up later.


Have fun with it.

This is your first marathon, an experience and memory you will have for the rest of your life, make it a good one! Cheer along with the fans, take the brownies when they are throwing them from the sidelines, read the posters people are holding up, smile, laugh… enjoy it.  And remember, you are in this first marathon to complete the 26.2 miles, speed does not have to be on your mind, just accomplish the distance.

Pin this for later: 


Now, I want to hear from you- Have you run a marathon? If so, what is your biggest first timer tip?  If not, where would you want to run your first marathon?

& remember, you make you



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Posted by colbytriolo in workouts, 0 comments
Total Body Anywhere Workout

Total Body Anywhere Workout

30 Day Blogging Challenge #26sunday workout

It’s Sunday, I think it’s time for another workout.  It also is exactly a week for my first marathon, the Philly Marathon, so I  think it is only fair to include some running 😉




As always, if you like this workout be sure to check out this link


.25 mile run -> 15 squats -> 15 incline pushups -> 30 russian twists -> 20 walking lunges -> 15 dips -> 1 min plank

This can be done anywhere, anytime.  If you don’t have a treadmill, run for 2-3 minutes each round.

See you tomorrow, You Make You!


Workouts Galore


Posted by colbytriolo in A Day in My Life, motivation, workouts, 0 comments