Running a marathon is serious business. You can’t just show up and expect things to go well. From the moment you decide you are going to run 42.2km until the moment you (hopefully) cross the finish line, you need to be serious.

Every run, every day, every week…ask yourself the question: “Am I serious?” Are you in this for the right reasons and are you really committed to making it happen or are you just playing around and hoping it all turns out okay?

Being serious means having a plan and sticking to it. Being serious means not deluding yourself into thinking you are doing more than you actually are. Being serious means you can look back on each run, each day, each week of training and say, “I was serious”.

Not being serious almost always ends in disaster. You might get through the marathon okay, but it sure won’t be pretty. Things get pretty serious around 35km regardless of whether you were serious or not up until that point.

If you don’t run the miles in training, you won’t be able to run the miles on race day. If you don’t run the hills in training, you won’t be able to run the hills on race day. If you don’t put in the effort in training, then you won’t be able to put in the effort on race day.

There’s nobody else to fool here, except yourself. The only person you are cheating is yourself. The only person that will be disappointed with the result is yourself.

So decide for yourself. Am I serious?