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Why You Should Start Training For A Marathon

Running is dreaded by many people, especially long distance. After all, as someone once said, running is other sports’ punishment. However, many physical and mental benefits can come out of distance running, including training for a marathon. As intimidating as a marathon may seem, four runners share why the race is worth training for.

University of Cincinnati graduates Lily Deller and Joe Lenzer pose for a snapshot after the Columbus marathon. Both are currently members of the running group Fleet Feet. Photo courtesy of Joe Lenzer.

Runner Joe Lenzer graduated from University of Cincinnati in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He ran thus far one marathon, the Columbus Marathon, and currently runs for Fleet Feet. Lenzer said he began running to “establish a positive, healthy habit in my life.” He said the physical benefits of running a marathon includes keeping blood pressure down, and a mental benefit of training is “it gives you physical goals.” He believes more people should train for a marathon because “it’s a healthy habit.”  

Hannah Beitzinger is currently a UC student studying for a bachelor’s in nutrition. She has run for UC’s running club for five years, and ran her first marathon when she was 19. She has run two full marathons and 15 half marathons. Beitzinger said that the physical benefits of training for a marathon include “better cardio strength [and] muscle tone.” She compares training for a marathon to meditation. “More people should train for marathons because it’s awesome and the running community is great,” she said. “Also, races are so chill, you’re as competitive as you want to be and there are always people to run with.”

Featured image: Hannah Beitzer participated in the Great Lakes regionals race for the UC running club. Photo courtesy of Hannah Beitzer.

Runner Julia Kraimer is currently a UC student with an engineering degree. She ran her first marathon, the Columbus Marathon, when she was 17. Kraimer said, “I have officially run three marathons but I’ve run 26.2 miles or more at least 25 times.” She also led a pace group at Fleet Feet for one year. Personally, Kraimer prefers ultra-marathons.

She believes physical benefits of training for a marathon include, “increased endurance, increased aerobic capacity, [and] stronger legs and ankles.” Training for marathons affects her mental health by causing her to “generally [feel] calmer, [and] potentially more confident for pushing through hard things, [and] feeling a sense of community with other runners.” She added, “I don’t necessarily think the marathon is for everyone, I think the people who are attracted to endurance sports will do them.”


Runners Hannah Beitzer and Lily Deller stay warm after the Flying Pig Half Marathon. Photo courtesy of Lily Deller.

Lily Deller graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2018 with an Associate of applied science and a major in PTA. She ran her first marathon, the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon, at the age of 17 and has run four more marathons since. She also runs for Fleet Feet and was a pace leader for the company, and ran for the UC running club for three years.

Deller said she began her marathon journey when “my coach in high school wanted me to run track in the spring but I didn’t want to, so I trained for a marathon instead.” She believes that running marathons “keeps stress down in your life [and] it helps you maintain a healthy weight.” She recommends others to train for marathons because, “it shows commitment, determination, and a healthy lifestyle.”

Lily Deller shows off her award after the Honor Run 5k. Not only did she achieve becoming the first overall finisher for women, but her time placed above the men’s highest. Photo courtesy of Lily Deller.


Maggie Deller

Cincinnati '22

Maggie Deller is a third year Environmental Studies major with a Biology minor. She loves bird watching, being with her friends, and hanging with her pet ducks.
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