Celebrating 5 years of Ironman participation

Marathon vs. Ironman


What hurts more – a marathon or an Ironman?  You might think, “An Ironman, of course!”  But, the consensus around the table after the Boston Marathon was Marathon!  I thought I was crazy when I felt this way after my Phoenix marathon earlier this year.  But, hearing my buddies from the DC Tri Club (Phil, Kip and Sean) all say they felt worse after the marathon makes me think there is something to this…especially, since these guys are rockstars when it comes to running!

Why would running a marathon leave your legs (and your whole body, really) in more pain than an Ironman?  How could 26.2 miles hurt more than 140.6?  Theories welcome!

Boston Marathon - View from Coolidge Corner

Boston Marathon - View from Coolidge Corner


Author: sarabstro

My name is Sara Strope. I'm hooked on triathlons. I spend my days building a health tech startup, promoting organ donation, and producing events. Oh, and training!

3 thoughts on “Marathon vs. Ironman

  1. i can’t say for marathon vs ironman, but I can say for half distance is definitely true. I think it’s all about the pacing. In an open running race, you are running alot faster than a half or full iron. That’s just harder on your body!

  2. I’ve never done either, but I’ve done a triathlon and several running races- I’m sure it’s mental. An ironman- especially if it’s your first one or something- is probably SO long that you’re just thinking “just get through it, just get through it” and pacing yourself very well. If you’re running a marathon- especially if you’ve already done an ironman- you’re probably like “oh this is easy, I just have to run” and when it’s NOT that easy, it makes it seem harder! And you’re probably just going all out a lot more than in an ironman.

  3. I think the difference in pacing and effort is definitely part of it. I’ll keep you posted on how I feel after IM Moo this year!

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