I am joining the girls at Wild Workout Wednesday to share my thoughts. Be sure to check out Annemarie, Angelena Marie, Upala and Amber for lots more posts on fitness and health! This week I thought I would talk about 10 things to know before your first marathon!
Running your first marathon can seem like a very daunting task. Even for the most seasoned runners, marathons can be tough! I was a non-runner when I decided that I was going to run my first marathon. It was one of the most fun and difficult things I have done in my life, and I wouldn’t change a thing about it!
I have listed below 10 things that I think you need to know before running your first marathon! Good luck!
1. Running a marathon will be tough, but is completely worth the effort!
Deciding to run a marathon is one heck of a goal! And putting your mind and time into something can make you feel so great once its complete. By dedicating yourself to such an awesome goal, you will feel very accomplished once you have attained that goal!
2. You will need to train. Quite a bit.
Training for a marathon takes time. A serious amount of time. But if running is something you enjoy, or if you know that you need to run a marathon, putting in the training miles will get you to your goal. Break training down into smaller chunks to make it more manageable! If you need a training plan check here.
3. Have a race day plan.
Knowing where to go and what you need to do on race day will ease a lot of stress. Plan your route, plan your pace and plan your breaks. Also, make a plan to meet up loved ones following the race at a specific place. If it is a big race this can help to save you tons of time and walking after you have run 26.2 miles!
4. Have a hydration and fuel plan.
Knowing what your body needs and when will help you maintain proper hydration and fuel during the race. You also need to listen to your body on race day and know what clues to look for. Make sure you are consuming carbohydrates throughout the run as well as electrolytes to stay fuelled!
5. You will probably get some blisters.
Chafing and blistering are a normal part of long distance running. Depending on the weather these unpleasant surprises can be more or less common. Sometimes you will run and never have an issue. But other days you could get a whole bunch in one run! Try to be proactive by placing petroleum jelly or an anti-chafing product like Body Glide to areas where you believe chafing will happen. This will save you a lot of potential pain!
6. There can be a lot of other people running.
If you have signed up for a large race, there can be a lot of people running along with you. Like a lot, a lot. Just be prepared for some choke-points or areas where the course narrows and people get caught up. At these points you may have to walk to avoid falling or tripping over others. These issues usually concentrate near the beginning of the race and once everyone gets going typically tend to disappear.
7. Don’t rely only on the race to supply you with fuel.
Many races have frequent aid stations which provide both water and electrolytes. Most large races also provide fuel at some race stops. If you are someone who likes being in control, it may be beneficial to carry hydration and fuel with you. This will ensure that you have fuel with you when you want it and you don’t have to wait for aid stations. Also, be sure not to try anything new on race day! Make sure you use the fuel you have trained with to avoid an GI upset.
8. You will probably hurt after.
A marathon can be hard on your body. Even though have trained a lot for the race, you will still need lots of time to recover! Make sure you take it easy and give yourself what you feel is adequate rest before doing anything too strenuous.
9. It will change your perspective.
Running a marathon is tough. But once you cross that finish line, you will feel pride in what you have accomplished. Even if you don’t feel that running a marathon has changed your life, it will change your perspective. Once you realize that you have just run 26.2 miles, you will feel that you can accomplish anything you put your mind to!
10. It isn’t the marathon that makes you awesome, its the skills it takes to get there!
Even if you don’t finish the race, you have still put a lot of time and effort into training. The dedication and perseverance it takes to get prepared for a marathon prove that you are awesome! Sometimes circumstances are beyond our control. And if you have trained for a marathon once, you can train for a marathon again! The skills you learn while training for a marathon can help you in all parts of your life. Put those skills to use, and you can do anything you want to do!