Marathons vs the AT

As many of you know, I run marathons in my ‘real’ life. I have done 26 marathons in 25 different states, plus DC. I have found it interesting to compare and contrast the marathon with the Appalachian Trail.


– need to be mentally tough

– I picture runs from home when I am 5 miles out from the finish of a marathon. I try to feel like I am just starting out and then the mileage doesn’t seem so bad. I do the same in hiking

– I try to break the distance into small chunks of time, like I will go this far until I take a break while hiking or the marathon is just a little over 5 miles 5 times.

– I get butterflies before starting marathons and coming off of zero days

– I often ask myself why I am doing this

– I psych myself up for the amount of miles that I am doing. I can do 20 miles if I am prepared, but if I am only doing 3, I don’t like to go farther.

– I don’t sleep well the night before a marathon (I haven’t slept really well since I started the trail)

– I need to warm up when starting each day

– I see people ahead of me in the register and wish I was where they are, in a marathon you see the leaders during an out and back

– I see people going south on the at and am glad I don’t have to do that part again. 🙂

– I hike and run alone most of the time.

– both can seem like a job at times.


– it takes longer to do a mile while hiking

– straight roads vs curvy trails and a lot of elevation change

– I go for time instead of miles when hiking

– running is over quicker

– miles are based on shelters and places to stay

– I max out at 50 miles per week when training for a marathon, I max out at 100 miles when hiking

– marathon training takes about 4 months, the trail will take me 6

– I only run for max 3 hours a day, hiking pushes 12 hours some days

About Renee

I enjoy adventures. Whether running marathons, thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, working with Service Adventure, or working with youth as Program Director of Swan Lake Christian Camp for 9 years, I have encountered many an adventure. On this site I will try to capture the big and small ones for you. Enjoy!

Posted on August 30, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Still keeping up with you. I’m not ever going to make Maine, but next year will be hiking Hadrian’s Wall in England. Atlas and I are crossing the Smokies at the end of the month. Hopefully I’ll get some sleep in those shelters. LOL Keep hiking, Airman

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