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Anyone can train for a marathon or half marathon. Not convinced? Here are five myths that most people that millions of runners and walkers have debunked just by taking that first step to start training and by joining a group like Portland Fit, one of the area's premier running/walking long distance training group programs.

  1. You have to be young. As evidenced by our amazing segment of members who started training with Portland Fit into their late 50s and 60s, any age is a great age to start training. Check out this recent article about one of Portland Fit's members Fay Westenhofer, who is 74 years old and completed 21 full and 51 half marathons since 2006, when she first joined Portland Fit.
  2. You have to have started running or walking/be an athlete to run a marathon. Programs like Portland Fit are so effective for non- to beginning runners because they tailor training to fit not only a person's specific fitness goals but their starting point. Remember, every athlete had to start at the beginning, too. 
  3. You can't walk a marathon. Contrary to images you may have seen of marathon participants, you can actually walk your way to a marathon or half marathon finish. The Portland Marathon (a target race for Portland Fit's 2016 season) is a great example of this. In fact, they were named the “most walker-friendly marathon in the U.S." by Runner's World, staying open for eight long hours so everyone can experience a long distance race no matter their pace.
  4. Running long distances is dangerous to your health. Done right, training for a marathon or half marathon will actually benefit your health. From weight loss to stress reduction, you can run or walk for miles and feel great at the same time.
  5. You have to be a certain weight/size to successfully run a marathon or half marathon. This is probably one of the bigger myths out there. At the beginning, you may not run or walk as fast, but programs like Portland Fit can help anyone reach his or her goal, step by step, in a safe way so that you eventually reach that 13.1- or 26.2-mile distance.

Ready to Get Started? Then Register Today with Portland Fit!

Portland Fit will kick off its 2016 season this Saturday, March 19, at 8 am at Zidell Yards/South Waterfront. If you have taken the winter off, now is a great time to get out for a few short, easy runs to get your body ready.

They will hold another orientation event on Saturday, March 26, at Zidell Yards/South Waterfront, at 8 am. Meet your coaches and fellow members, get placed in your specific training groups and see if Portland Fit is, well, a good fit for you! If you can't make either orientation event, you can register online at through April 1 and start your first day of training on Saturday, April 2.

When you bring a friend to Portland Fit and they register as a first-time member, you will get a $10 Portland Running Company gift card – so bring all your friends and family to start a journey of a lifetime!

If you don’t bring any friends, Portland Fit is also a great place to meet new people. With the brand-new Tilikum Crossing pedestrian bridge completion last summer, the South Waterfront is becoming a popular area with several food and beverage choices nearby – it’s easier than ever to grab a coffee after a Portland Fit run or walk with some of your new friends. 

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