Running Your First Marathon: Everything You Need to Know
Running your first marathon, whatever the reason, is exciting and daunting all at the same time. In the weeks leading up to the race, you may feel motivated, frightened and physically sick at times. If you’re looking for tips on how to get through your first marathon without any hiccups, you’ve come to the right place.
Allow the Nerves to Kick In
No-one really likes feeling nervous, but when it comes to running a marathon, nerves can be a good thing. Nerves will mean you prepare yourself for everything a marathon can throw at you. You’ll wear the right clothes, know the route that you’re running and you won’t be tempted to do silly things, like drink a few too many glasses of wine the night before. You may be willing the marathon to be over just so you can get rid of your nerves, but they may just help you achieve your goals.
Aim for the Finish Line
It goes without saying that your main aim is the finish line, but many first-time runners make the mistake of trying to beat previous training times or finish with an impressive time so they can be the envy of their running club. Every runner wants the bonus of a good time, but if it’s your first marathon, all you need to do is cross the finish line. Don’t put yourself under unnecessary pressure.
A marathon is a race that requires you to have a slow but steady release of energy. If all of your energy is quickly released at the start of the race, the rest of the race will be very difficult to complete. It’s something you should have learned in your training, so you should know by now the types of food and drink you can rely on. Whether you’re reliant on bananas and hazelnuts or you’ve switched your water to Monster Energy out of fear of hypernatremia, it’s important to stick to what works for you. Don’t be tempted to try something new on race day.
Cut Down on Training
As a new runner, you may be inclined to think that the more training you do, the more prepared you’ll be. In a sense that’s true, but you should be prepared to cut down on training a few weeks prior to a marathon. It will help you to conserve energy, avoid injuries and get prepared for all of the other aspects of running. It can be difficult to change your schedule and you may be tempted to run on days you aren’t supposed to, but lowering your exercise will benefit you in the race.
Marathon day takes a lot of organisation from everyone involved and the last thing you want to do is walk out the day without your bag, with your running shoes in it, because you’ve woken up tired. A few days before the race, make a list of the things you’ll need to take with you to make the day as easy as possible. Refer to your list before leaving the house and you shouldn’t have any problems.