Running marathons has always been a big part of my life – I’ve ran in NYC, Chicago, LA, Marine Corps, Rome, Paris, Napa, Avenue of the Giants, & Manitoba to name a few, but my favorite is Boston – you can’t beat the people that support you on the course. I smile just thinking about it.
I made every rookie mistake you could possibly make in my first marathon. Below are some of my tips to help you rock your first marathon.
Mistake #1: Not Having a Marathon Training Plan
I registered for the race eight weeks before the event, so I hadn’t been on a regimented training plan. I was in Asia for two weeks prior and took a direct flight to NY for the race. Not advisable! I was undertrained, jet-lagged, sick and dehydrated. You can’t run a marathon on a whim! The most important thing is to have a plan. You can find one on the internet, work with a coach, or train with a team. At the end of the day – you need to schedule your workouts into your day. Think quality over quantity, make every workout count.
Mistake #2: Expecting the Expected
Be prepared for anything to happen.Even when you’re prepared for your run, there are variables you can’t control, like the weather. I ran the LA Marathon in a rainstorm, with a partly-flooded course. It wasn’t fun but I did it and now I know I can handle it. This is what makes marathon running so exhilarating to me – I learn something new about myself every time.
Mistake #3: Losing Sight of Your Marathon Motivation
Why are you doing this? You will need to remember this when the little demons show up in your race. You will question this during the race. I can recall numerous times thinking about how I could be eating pancakes with friends instead of pushing through at mile 21.
Mistake #4: Going For It Alone
Tell your friends to track you on the marathon website page. Knowing people are watching you keeps you motivated and pushing through to the finish line.
What are your marathon tips? Share them in the comments below!
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