Hi all—Very excited to be over here on Katrina’s site today! I’m coaching her to her
first marathon this October and I have really enjoyed working with her—she’s a
model client! Since this will be her first, I thought I’d write a little on what I consider
five important “dos” for getting ready and running 26.2.
1. Learn the course and train for its challenges. You may not live near the course you’ll be running, but you can prepare on similar terrain to get your body ready. So if you’ve got a hilly marathon, incorporate hill repeats into the mix. A flat marathon? Spend some time at marathon pace on the flats. Whatever the case may be, make sure race day isn’t the first time you face those particular conditions.
2. Practice your fueling well ahead of time. Use your long runs as dry runs for how you’ll eat and drink during your race. You may find that one type of gel or drink doesn’t sit well with you and need to play around with options. It’s always better to learn this and adjust for it well in advance of the big day than ruin a marathon because of it.
3. Also practice wearing your race-day clothes and shoes. You don’t want to break in a new pair of shoes on race day or find out that your new shorts or singlet cause chafing while running your race. Try it all out ahead of time. No new is good new!
4. Get comfortable at your goal pace. While I don’t advocate having a hard time goal for your first marathon, you probably have a general idea of what you can do based on shorter race day results. Make sure you do some regular miles at marathon pace (MP) so that you know it’s comfortable and
something you can realistically sustain.
5. On the big day, start out nice and easy! The first several miles of a marathon should feel pretty easy to you. The saying that the marathon doesn’t begin until mile 20 is quite true—go out too fast and trust me, you’ll pay for it in the final stretch. Do yourself a favor and start at a pace that feels
ridiculously easy. You’ll thank yourself later on.
So that’s it in a nutshell. Remember that race day always comes with a couple of surprises. You can make your experience that much better by doing what you can to keep those surprises to a minimum. Good luck!
Amanda Loudin is a freelance writer, running coach, and the voice behind the MissZippy1 blog, a site for runners seeking experienced advice, the latest running news, and a fun exchange of all things running related. Amanda has been running and competing in triathlons for 14 years now. Her athletic
experience includes 12 marathons, an Ironman, and literally hundreds of other races. Amanda’s philosophy is that fitness is a journey and she loves sharing her passion with readers, fellow athletes, and running clients alike.
Thanks Amanda for the AWESOME advice for first-time-marathoners!
Any questions you have for coach?
Are you doing your first marathon or comtemplating doing so?