5 Things You Should Know Before Entering Your First Marathon
Ready for your first marathon?
You've hit those 5k and 10k goals, crushed that half and now it's time to lace up for the main event. Maybe you've watched from the sidelines as friends and family have hit that magic 42.2 number and thought that being part of a marathon would be awesome!
What many don't realise is the time commitment it takes to enter a marathon. Time is literally the best gift you can give to yourself when it comes to training for a marathon. Whether it's getting up that extra bit earlier or making that extra time after work. That being said here's No 1.
1. Training might take over your life for a bit
Long run Sundays or Saturdays for some will become the norm. You'll take the time planning out the long run route. You might even find yourself skipping that late night event because 'I have a long run tomorrow.' Get in touch with some of your local run groups and find some running buddies training for the same marathon. Running buddies can make those long runs more fun and you can make awesome friends along the kms.
2. Test your fuel and hydration strategy on training runs and don't try anything new on race day
It can take a while to determine what fuel and hydration works for you. Maybe you prefer a gel and liquids fuel strategy over solids. It's best to try different options on your training runs so you can eliminate anything that doesn't work for you and have it dialled in when it comes to race day.
3. What you wear matters... a lot!
CHAFE IS REAL... it's one of the whole reasons we started KoaKoa. No 1. Rule - nothing new on race day! When you're spending so many hours running, mother nature can throw many different things at you so it's best to find the gear that works for you no matter the conditions. If you're testing a running belt or hydration pack, make sure you've worn it a few times before race day to minimise any discomfort.
4. Taper time is your friend
Once you've put in all the long runs, you'll start to taper a few weeks before race day. It can be very tempting to want to push your running but this taper time is really important to race day. Trust your program and add in some walking and stretching if you find yourself irritable. Any heavy exertion like trying for PB's or crazy strength training will not do you any favours on race day.
5. Training will get you there and vasbyt/ grit will get you through
Many things are out of your control so be ready for anything. Unless you're one of the elites, your goal should be to have fun and finish standing upright. Whether you're a super fast runner and done in a few hours or out there over 5 hours, you might hit the wall and mind games will come into play. You are stronger than you think, take walk breaks when you need them, find a fellow runner to commiserate with and run a few kms with and chat to the crowds to keep your spirts up. With it being your longest ever distance, you'll have to dig deep on those last 5-10kms. That feeling when you cross that finish line is 1000% worth it!