First Marathon Tips
While I’m not the fastest and most experienced runner, I have run a lot of races in the past 3 years and have learned a few things along the way that might help you out on your next race. It doesn’t matter what mileage your next race is..whether it’s a 5k or a full marathon, these are some tips that I think will help you along the way.
Before the Race
- Don’t try anything new on race day. No new foods or drinks and no new shoes or outfits. Stick to what you know works best for you.
- Use a long training run or a local race as a dress rehearsal. Eat the same breakfast you want to eat the day of the race, where your same outfit that you’ll sport race day too. Take your new water bottle for a spin too. Try all of these things out so you can work out any bugs or change anything you see necessary for race day.
- If you’re traveling to race out of town, make a packing list to make it easier. I make a list of everything I’ll need from pre-race breakfast, to what I’ll wear during the race, to what I want to pack in my race check bag. Once you make a list, you can look it over to make sure you didn’t forget anything. And always pack extra safety pins..just in case you don’t get any for your bib!
- Once you get to your destination race, purchase anything you may need asap, before you forget! I like to eat a bagel before each long race I run and I also like to have gatorade with me as well. Since I can’t fly with these neccessities, I make sure to purchase them at the nearest drugstore once we get to our location.
- Print out all of the race information. It’s good to have a hard copy of your race registration along with any other travel documents (hotel and air reservation etc) just in case something would happen.
- The night before a race, lay out your clothes and any other accessories you might need. You don’t want to wake up early the next day and realize you forgot something. Think of everything you’ll need from head to toe..clothes, socks, ipod, headphone, compression socks etc, and have it all out and ready to go.
During the Race
- If you’re running a longer race, start out slow. Don’t get caught up in all the race excitement that you tire yourself out early. Save some energy for later.
- If you’re a slower runner, or you’re walking the race, please stay to the side. Don’t disrupt that flow of runners please. If you need to tie your shoe or readjust your ipod arm band, don’t stop in the middle of the street. Navigate your way to the side so you’re out of the way.
- You don’t always have to grab the first cup of water. Go towards the tables near the end since most people won’t stop there. And also, please throw your cup to the side of the street, or even better, in the trash can. No one wants to sleep on a wet cup. I also turn down the volume on my ipod when I’m running through aid stations so I can hear if it’s water or gatorade they’re passing out.
After the Race
- So important..don’t forget to stretch! It’s the best thing you can do for your body after running so just do it!
- Don’t stop once you cross that finish line. Since your legs are still in race mode, keep walking for awhile to slow down your heart rate and to bring your legs down from that runner’s high.