Have I told you lately how much I love the running community? Well I do. I super love all of my fellow runners out there. We are a small but mighty bunch. Always willing to be brutally honest when asked a question about running. Always willing to listen when our fellow athletes tell us the tales of their bloody nipples, missing toenails and “ugly cry” finishes. And always ready with a piece of advice to help guide one more member into the small pool of those of us who can call ourselves “marathoners”.
I recently followed a social media thread on a private running board on facebook where someone was asking for advice on running her very first full marathon. These are some of the pearls of wisdom that were bestowed upon her from those in the group that had gotten to the 26.2 mile finish line.
ADVICE FOR YOUR FIRST FULL MARATHON
Start out easy and definitely don’t let your first mile be your fastest.
You will have prerace jitters; they will go away a couple miles in.
Trust your training.
We are all so proud of you for even crossing the start line
Take a walk break through all the water stops. You’ll thank yourself at the end.
Find a mantra. Tell yourself you can do this because you can.
There will probably be moments you think you can’t do it. Lots of people hit the wall around mile 18-22. You aren’t alone in feeling that way. Know that you can do it.
Assign each mile to someone that is important in your life and think of them as you run that mile.
Trust the taper.
Don’t think about time, just the finish line.
Even if you don’t feel thirsty passing water stations, Drink anyway.
Break the run down in your head into smaller runs.
If your bib doesn’t have your name on it put your name on your shirt some place. Then people can cheer you on by name.
Don’t give up.
High five everyone you can.
Bio freeze is your friend.
Run it with your heart not your mind.
Enjoy the fact that you are doing something that only 1% of the population can do.
It will be hard but awesome.
There’s nothing like it.
Dont think that you can match your pace from a half.
If there is a sign, beautiful spot or any other thing worth remembering STOP and take a picture. It will help the memories last.
Most people have a goal of just finishing.
Talk with others on the course. Telling them it is your first marathon will usually get your some verbal support.
You are competing with only you.
I believe in you.
Finish your training.
Don’t switch up anything at the last minute – not even what you wear and especially what you eat.
BELIEVE – In yourself that you can get it done ’cause nobody else is going to do it for you.
Just keep moving forward.
Don’t get so excited that you forget to take your gels or gummies or salt or whatever it is you’ve worked out to fuel with.
Lube your feet and wear double socks.
Eat EVERYTHING on course offered to you. It always tastes good after mile 22.
Make sure you have a nutrition plan so you don’t hit the wall.
Get your mind ready. Whatever you do don’t psych yourself out.
Success in racing is all about PACING.
You can do it.
You will suffer waves of emotion when you get within a couple miles of the finish line.
Finish in the vertical position.
Don’t sit down when you finish. Walk it out.
Do a recovery run the next day. Your legs will thank you.
Wear compression socks after.
Crossing the finish line is a PR no matter what the time.
Enjoy it!! You only get one “first” marathon!!
Have another hot tip? Add it into the comments section below.