First Marathon Advice (Part 1 of 2)
I am really excited about these posts (first one today, second tomorrow).
In preparation for my first marathon, I wanted to get the best advice possible. And, of course, share it with you. So I went to some of my favorite blogging marathoners and got their input. (Some of them make similar points, but you'll just have to read it more than once... I didn't want to edit anything out because each of these runners is pure awesomeness.)
SkinnyRunner was the very first running blog that I read on a regular basis. I love how casual (and honest) she is about running, but still manages to completely kick butt. She's absolutely hilarious, which is, admittedly, why I started reading her blog... then I realized there was a wealth of information to gain just by reading other runners' thoughts. SR's advice for your first marathon:
My advice leading up to the big day would be to rest in your training. its really easy the first time around to get nervous and start thinking that you need to do more, get another run in, worry about what you should have done differently, worry about phantom aches and pains, etc. but don't. rest and relax in the fact that the hard work's been done, the training's done, enjoy the taper and the calm before the storm.
my advice for race day is don't do anything new or different. treat the race like a glorified long run meaning eating the same breakfast, wear the same shoes, outfit, rehydrate the same way, start the race at the pace you train at (not getting all excited and racing out of the gate at a 6min/mile pace), etc. you are going to be a ball of nerves so don't throw your body out of whack in any way by trying something new. do what you normally do for every long run.
that's it. enjoy it, the first one goes by fast and you'll always look back on it so enjoy it as much as you can.
MissZippy's blog is another must read. She's full of information, advice, encouragement, and honesty on days where she is just being human. Not to mention, she's Zippy! And she's one of the bloggy folks talented and lucky enough to be heading to Boston next year.
I guess I'd say two things:
Do not go out too fast! Plan to start out nice and easy and pick it up later on if you feel good.
Second--Know that you will hit low points out there. They will pass. Ride the highs by working the pace a bit and get through the lows by slowing it down a tad.
Hope that helps!
A blog that is a highlight in my day is Racing With Babes. TMB is a mother of 3 (like me), and I love how her blog is just centered around complete honesty about her girls, her running, and other aspects of her life. (Not to mention that she also makes uber-cool headbands that I mentioned in my last post.) She's super-supportive and a regular running skirt fashionista!
My advice to a first time marathoner is to "plan for the unexpected or don't plan at all." I think that many runners over-think race day strategies, myself included. They set up these "ideal" race plans and end up disappointed if something goes awry. First marathons should be about FINISHING and enjoying the experience. And while "perfect" races can happen, a lot can happen over 26.2 miles and it's how we handle the unexpected that often defines our experiences.
Hope that helps!
Marcia at Running Off At the Mouth is another super speedy mom. She's extremely encouraging and willing to share the ups and the downs of her running journey. Marcia raised over $1500 for Lupus (in honor of her neighbor, Alex) this year for the Chicago Marathon.
My advice is when you get to the starting line, reflect back on your journey, your training and all it took to bring you to this place. And congratulate yourself because the real 'victory' is in the journey not at the finish line.
Soak up the sights, sounds and smells and know that discomfort is finite. You've got this--more than enough!
So excited for you!
To be continued... (I know you'll be waiting on the edge of your seats...)