How To Train For A Marathon Without Making Everyone Hate You

Marathoners. We all know the stereotypes. They wear running shoes with literally everything, no matter the occasion. They post screenshots of their Strava routes to their Instagram stories every. single. day. They love to say shit like “just a quick 10 miles,” and they neverrrr shut up about carb loading. They’re better than you, and they know it, which is exactly how they got me. 

After watching the NYC Marathon in 2022, I decided to sign up for the next one because I, too, deserve that much attention. I ran NYC in 2023 and immediately jumped at the chance to run my second marathon in Tokyo when Westin Hotels & Resorts offered me the opportunity through their partnership with Abbott World Marathon Majors featuring race weekend activations, wellness programming, and curated itineraries to help runners get to the finish line. Quickly after completing my second round of 26.2 miles in Tokyo, I signed up for a third. Yep, I’ve officially crossed over to the dark side (people who exercise ~for fun~). 

But!!! It IS possible to train for and run a marathon without completely ruining your personality. Unless all my 2am thoughts that everyone I know secretly hates me are true (my therapist says this is unlikely), I’ve managed to become a runner and run two whole marathons without destroying a single relationship. While I’m definitely not qualified to give out running advice, I can give you some tips to avoid becoming the worst of the runner clichés. 

Remember Social Skills 

My first and most important piece of advice is to just remember basic social skills. I get it. When you start training for a marathon, it’s like having a new crush that you get uncontrollable urges to bring up in every conversation. It’s exciting and sweet and your friends probably *do* want to hear about it (to an extent), but every single person you interact with does not need to know you’re having an identity crisis. Here are some illustrative examples of what normal human conversations should look like for those of us with a bad case of marathon brain (guilty). 


Absolutely no one:

You: I ran 15 miles this morning. Yeah, I’m training for a marathon. I’m losing my toenails and I almost shit myself on my run this morning and [insert monologue about run fueling] but it’s going great, I feel amazing. Do you run? You should really run. Really anyone can run a marathon, it’s not that hard. Have you ever had a runner’s high though? Once you get a runner’s high, you’ll be obsessed with it. 


Them: what’s new with you? 

You: I’m actually training for a marathon! [insert one (1) entertaining anecdote here] how’s [insert one of their interests to show you’re not a complete narcissist] going?

It’s A Team Effort 

Training for a marathon takes a hugeeee amount of time and energy, so going it alone is going to be a lot less fun. And your friends and family should want to support you on the journey!!! HOWEVER… it’s going to be a lot more enjoyable for them (and useful for you) if you give them ways to actually contribute rather than making non-runners listen to every mundane detail of your training plan. Ask them for songs to put on your running playlist, call your long distance friends and family during long runs to help the time pass faster, invite them out for mani pedis to take care of your (inevitably) busted toenails, the possibilities are endless. When you make your loved ones part of the journey, they’ll be even more excited to cheer you on race day, and you can give them jobs to do then too, like making signs and letting you know where to look for them, bringing a change of clothes to the finish line, having water refills ready to hand off on the course, sending encouraging texts throughout the race, and, in my boyfriend’s case, running all over Tokyo to get as much video as possible for my mom. 

It also helps so much to have some fellow runners on your team when it comes to the nitty gritty details of marathon training. Whether you work with a coach or join a run club to meet some new runner friends, other runners will be much more patient with conversations about splits of your speed workouts and every weird tingle in your legs you’re worried might be an injury. For me, this is where Chris Heuisler, marathon coach and the global RunWESTIN Concierge, came in. Having someone who really gets it (and understands the weird urge to talk about it nonstop) in your corner is great for your training and for not annoying everyone else in your life. 

Have Some Bread

Please trust me when I say marathon training is absolutely not the time to go on a diet. You are running a lot of miles and burning up a lot of calories and you need to eat. A lot. The only thing more annoying than a marathoner is a hangry marathoner. Or an injured marathoner who got hurt because they were running on empty (literally). Make sure you’re eating carbs and hydrating with electrolytes before, during, and after your runs so that your muscles can repair themselves and so that you don’t snap at your coworker for breathing too loudly. 

This is especially important in the days leading up to the race because the carb load is no joke. Luckily, I had no issue getting all the nutrition I needed in Tokyo thanks to The Westin Tokyo’s balanced Eat Well menu and Snack Packs that kept me on my schedule of eating literally every 2 hours. Sooooo much better than the dollar slices I was relying on to fuel up before the New York City Marathon. 

Make It A Vacay 

I think marathon runners can be very self absorbed because, at the end of the day, you will spend a lot of time on your own just pounding the pavement which makes it feel like a solo sport. One of the absolute best ways to remind yourself of how insignificant you are (in a good way) is to travel and experience different cultures. Being surrounded by Japanese culture and thousands of runners during the Tokyo marathon was a humbling experience in the best way, and it was a reminder that not everything is about me. In fact, most things aren’t about me (shocking!), and that’s actually kind of freeing. So if you have the opportunity to travel and experience a huge community event like a marathon in a new place, either as a runner or as a supporter, you absolutely should. 

On a more basic level, it’s also just a great excuse to go on a fun trip and cover a lotttttt of ground in a new city. You and any friends or fam you bring along will have the excitement of race day, but once it’s over, there will still be an amazing vacay ahead instead of just going back to work on Monday morning with extremely sore legs and post-marathon blues. Plus, the backdrops of my race photos made for a damn good Instagram post if I do say so myself.

TBH, I was too stressed about having to run a marathon to do as much research on where to go or what to do for the rest of the trip as I would’ve liked. Luckily, staying at The Westin Tokyo made it so easy with their curated itinerary for marathon travelers featuring incredible meals and traditional experiences, including a tea ceremony which was at the top of my list. Honestly, I should probably leave these things to the professionals more often…

Post-Race: Don’t Be A Hero

Congratulations! You just ran a marathon!!!! That is a hugeeeee accomplishment and you should be so so proud of yourself. That being said… and I mean this with so much love, take off the damn medal. Wear it the day of the race and during the celebrations that night of course, but under no circumstances should you wake up the next morning and put it BACK ON. I’m sorry, I know you worked hard for it, but it’s just obnoxious. Post it on Instagram, and hang it up on your wall like an adult. 

On the flip side, remember, you just ran a fucking! marathon! That is a massive toll on your body, so you need to take recovery seriously. If you’re at home, take the next day off work, get yourself some epsom salts, and watch your fave show while you chug Liquid IV. If you’re traveling, choose your hotel wisely. The Westin is like the perfect marathon recovery resort. With their Gear Lending program you can borrow the Recover & Recharge Kit by Hyperice including recovery tools like massage guns and Normatec Go (those crazy boots you see all the influencers wearing–I regret to inform you that they really do work) and the Sculpt & Flow kit from Bala to get a much needed stretch in. 

While I love a gadget and they certainly do help, your most important recovery tool is sleep, and I am not exaggerating when I say the Westin “Heavenly Bed” is the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in in my life. My boyfriend and I, who NEVER agree on which beds are comfortable, were Googling where to buy the mattress after night one. (It’s available on Pottery Barn, and I will be saving up for one expeditiously.) We seriously had to institute a rule against sitting on the bed when it wasn’t time for sleep because we would get so comfy that we’d nap by accident

After getting some quality sleep, hitting the spa, and using all the tools from Hyperice and Bala, I was ready to get back out and see Tokyo on foot. Compared to how I felt the week after running the New York City marathon (literally immobile for 3 days), The Westin Tokyo performed a major miracle.

Maddy Paul
Maddy Paul
Maddy Paul is a Senior Content Manager at Betches, a self-proclaimed professional shopper, certified yapper, and 2x marathoner (brag).