So, I mentioned it on Instagram last week, but on Saturday, I am headed to Barcelona for almost a week for work! I have never traveled internationally for business before and I am looking forward to the adventure. I was in Barcelona four years ago for a much different reason, so I am excited to go back and recreate some memories. 🙂
Anyways! Today is Wednesday which means its Running Coaches’ Corner, where Susie, Debbie, Rachel and I host a link up to talk about our favorite running tips and advice… link up with us! Details below.
I’ve heard that running marathons is similar to childbirth, in that you don’t remember the pain until you run (or have) the next one. I feel like that’s kind of the truth. I also feel like you kinda forget the little logistics that goes into running a great marathon — it’s easy to forget those little elements that make the race that much better. So, with Twin Cities Marathon fresh on my mind, I wanted to share 7 of my tips for a GREAT marathon — no matter the weather or your goal.
1. Don’t do anything new!
Seriously, don’t! This is probably the #1 tip that you’ll see when talking about essentials for running a great marathon. But seriously, DON’T DO IT. Wear the clothes you’ve worn in training. Eat the breakfast that you’ve tried before a long run. Fuel the way you’ve done during your runs.
Trust me, trying new shorts and chafing for 17 miles is not fun. And trying new food and having it backfire around mile 14 is even worse.
2. Warm up how you want
So at the start line, you’ll see people running sprints. Others will be doing high knees and everything in between. Me? I just like to sit on the ground and stare off into space.
Warm up how you want. What works for me may not work for you, and vice versa. I like to zone out and let me feet rest (hey, I’ll be on them for the next 3-1/2ish hours anyways!), which I know some people think is crazy.
3. Start SLOW
This is the hardest part, I’m telling you. You’ll cross that start line and feel so amazing and so good –> that you will just want to be speedy and fly off the start like everyone around you. Don’t, as hard as it is. It’s okay if your first mile is slow and a little off target (my first mile on Sunday was actually in the 8:30s)… it’s better to do that than to burn yourself out and go way too fast. So, keep it slow and fall into a rhythm. Your body will thank you around mile 21. 😉
4. Don’t rely on your spectators
I have a great post coming next week from my sister about her experience as a marathon spectator. I’m not saying this in a way to be mean, but don’t rely on your spectators for fluids or gels along the way. Things happen when it comes to spectating and sometimes, they don’t make it to where you are in time. It’s not their fault so don’t get mad at them; but that being said, don’t make it a make or break situation in case you don’t see them.
5. Be smart at the water station
If you taking fluids from the water stations, be cautious on your approach. (I’m going to write a whole post about this in the next few weeks, so stay tuned.) Mostly, just be aware of those who are around you… my general rule is to worry about the people in front of you and let the people behind you worry about you. Make sure you are clear about your intentions at water stops so that it doesn’t surprise people around you.
6. Run the mile you are in
This was my mantra on Sunday and I LOVE IT. I’m going to use this moving forward. Run the mile you are in… meaning, focus on what you are doing for THAT mile. Don’t think about 3 miles from then, or what 10 miles from then will look like. I just kept telling myself to run that pace for that mile and that perspective helped me so much. I also like doing that because I can break down my fluid/gel intake in my mind so it doesn’t feel like it’s so far away.
7. Most importantly —> have fun!
Yes, running marathons is hard. It hurts. And there will be miles that you think about how much you hate what you’re doing.
With all that being said, we go through all of this crazy because we think it’s fun and we like it. It’s hard to remember this at points during the race, but if you aren’t enjoying at least a little bit of it, you aren’t doing it right. I hated a handful of miles on Sunday, but when I finished, I knew that I had a blast and felt so happy that I accomplished that race. That’s what it’s about.
What are your tips for a great marathon? Biggest race snafu you’ve ever committed?
Any recommendations for Barcelona? Restaurants, things to do, etc… I’m game!
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