Advice before a first marathon

I keep an eye and contribute sometimes to the subreddit r/running but came across a great thread yesterday. Someone with his marathon coming up asked the question: “what advice would you give someone going for a first marathon?

There was some great input from dozens of people, and it would be a shame for that advice to get lost. Some of it would have been handy to have known before my own first marathon!

  • Your weekly mileage is just as important as your long run, if not more.
  • But make sure to do a 36km long run before the race, just so you have that experience in the bank.
  • Try a few trainings on tired legs (as long as you’re not injury prone), it will suck
  • Treat race day just like any other long run. Eat and drink what you normally do, try to find out what the marathon will be serving and practice with that.
  • Wear what worked for you during your long runs
  • Don’t get too caught up on your time goal. It’s a nice to have, but you’re entering totally unknown territory.
  • You will feel shit at some point. It’s normal. But try to smile as well, as it could trick your mind into feeling OK.
  • If you’re saying anything other than “this pace feels easy” for the first 10 miles, you’re going too fast.
  • The race really starts after 20km. If you’re not feeling great at that point, you’re gonna have a bad time.
  • There will be a point in the race where you think “I don’t know whether I can do this anymore” or “I regret this” Power through those voices.
  • Walking will be just as painful as running around the 35km mark, so you might as well keep running.
  • The last 10km are tough. Be prepared mentally, it’s a battle between your body and you mind at that point.
  • There will also be a point close to the end where you might get a bit emotional. KEEP SMILING THOUGH!
  • Try and get your friends and family along the course to cheer you on. Every time you see them you can instantly go from feeling defeated to king/queen of the world.

Hopefully it will be useful for you too!

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