Your first long-distance race is substantially more than a great test to tick off your list of must-dos. It requires inconceivable degrees of physical and mental perseverance. It’s not just about pounding the pavement for 26.2 miles; it’s also about months of preparation and training to get you ready for race day.
While a half marathon is no walk in the park, a marathon is an even bigger challenge and requires consistent training and dedication to complete. Being able to run for 26 miles over thrilling terrain takes a lot more than simply signing up for a race. You’ll also need to know how your body will respond as you train and prepare for the race. A notorious example of this was seen at the London Marathon where well-known runners such as Mo Farah, Paula Radcliffe and Kenenisa Bekele all dropped out within sight of the finish line due to fatigue.
This post will give you everything you need to know from what gear to pack, when to start running, how much time off from work is needed – even tips on how to prepare your food when training!
here are the top 9 tips for running a first marathon for the first time:
1. Don’t worry about your pace
Try not to worry too much about your pace, the first part of the race is usually slower due to all the crowds. Once you get past 30K (21 miles) it will get pretty hard and you will start running at your own pace. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids along the route.
2. If it hurts- stop
If you have suffered a lot and need to stop – DO IT! Just be strong and tell yourself that you will finish this marathon!. People make mistakes at this point. There is nothing you can do about it .Therefore, don’t blame yourself for anything. As you are running, keep telling yourself that you will catch up after this little bump.
4. Don’t think about what other people think
Try not to be concerned about what other people will think if you slow down. Try not to compare your results with others. It will do you no good, as every person will have their strengths/weaknesses and so you are expected to have your own strengths/weaknesses. The most important thing is that you try your best and do the best that you can in your own way.
5. Don’t make up your training
Don’t try to make up for your lack of training before the race – just know that your body is capable of doing this!
6. Visualise yourself finishing
Keep visualising yourself finishing the race and just run as best as you can throughout thinking about all the training and hard work you put in for this marathon.
7. Bring a change of clothes.
You need to bring a change of clothes because when you finish the race, you will quickly get sweaty. Depending on where the race is taking place, it’s recommended that you pack a pairs of shorts and T-shirts
8. Make sure to hydrate and eat some food
You wouldn’t want to finish your marathon in an overheated state, so make sure that you keep hydrated throughout the process. Water is always your best bet for staying hydrated throughout the race. Try to drink some sips of water at every water points along the routes. The marathon is a long process that can cause the body to burn energy faster than usual. So, make sure that you eat a good breakfast at least 2 to 3 hours before the race morning, and proper lunch post-race
9. Check your gear
Before the race starts, you will want to make sure that you check your gear and that everything is in place. It’s also important for you to check the weather, which will help you to decide what gear you need for that particular race.