Top 10 Tips for Running Your First Marathon
1. Taper for three weeks before the marathon. Most first timers do not let their body recover before the marathon. You need to gradually pull back on your training in order for your body to fully recover and be 100% ready to go on the marathon day. You should maintain your normal training intensity throughout the final three weeks, but you should gradually decrease your workout time. So three weeks out you should do 75% of your normal workload, two weeks out you should do 50% and the last week you should do 25%. This will leave you well-rested, but still sharp, when you toe the line.
2. Start slowly! Do not let the fact that you are well-rested fool you into running too fast out of the gate. Most runners think they are having an amazing day when they are cruising through the first 12 to 15 miles. But if you start too fast this false sense of being “on” is soon replaced with the scary realization that those last few miles are going to feel like a hundred. Pace yourself so that you have gas left in the tank for the final miles.
3. Speed walk through the water stops. Dehydration is a major problem for many marathon runners so it is essential to take in two full cups of liquid at each aid station. But, if you are running through the stations half of each cup ends up on your shirt! There is no recovery if you get dehydrated on race day, which means you’ll be forced to merely survive and finish. And that is not the way to experience your first marathon.
4. Be sure to take in nutrients. Many marathon runners make a big mistake in thinking that water or Gatorade alone will maintain their energy and fuel levels. Even taking in energy gels with your fluids is probably not enough. Depending upon the weather and your pace you could be burning between 500 and 1,000 calories per hour, more than these can provide. Even if you had a big breakfast, eat some type of bar during the race. I personally love Balance Bars because they are easy to digest and taste great. Find your favorite bar and use it to fuel you on marathon day.
5. Bring warm cloths and a throw-away blanket to the start. Sitting on the ground in the cold for two to five hours is not a pleasant way to prepare to run a marathon. If you are cold or stiff before the race you are probably going to be in trouble. Although most marathons have race staff that will bring your clothes to the finish line, the bag provided usually isn’t big enough for the blanket, so bring something you don’t mind leaving behind. Read more…..
Courtesy of marathontraining.com