Unless you're Stefaan Engels. This weekend the Belgian runner set a world record by completing 365 marathon races in a row. The Belgian athlete -- accurately dubbed "Marathon Man" -- ended his fitness feat in Barcelona, Spain, on Saturday, after pounding roads across Europe and the U.S.
Engels has covered 9,569 miles on foot since setting off from his hometown of Ghent on Feb. 5, 2010. But the 49-year-old is keen to play down his remarkable achievement. "I don't regard my marathon year as torture. It is more like a regular job," he said, according to CNN. "I am running just as Joe Average goes to work on Monday morning, whether or not he feels like it."
On average, Engels took about 4 hours to complete a marathon, but his best time was a decent 2 hours and 56 minutes.
The former graphic designer is a veteran record breaker. In 2008, he earned a place in Guinness World Records by completing 20 Iron Man triathlons in a year. Engels says that epic test of stamina inspired him to seek out a new challenge.
"After running 20 triathlons in one year, I was not ready to go back to normal life," he told AP. "I also wanted to inspire people by showing that if I could run a marathon a day for an entire year, that anyone could run or bike a little each day or do something about their weight problem."
Engels is the right man to spread that inspirational message. As a youngster, he had severe asthma and was told by a doctor that he shouldn't participate in sports. But he decided to overcome that ailment, and at the age of 25 he ran his first marathon.
The record breaker now plans to focus on writing a book about his long-distance adventure, as well as coaching and giving lectures. "It is time for other things," he told AP. "It is time to give my body a rest."