Share your wisdom with us first-timers!
Looking at another thread, I saw a great comment from someone that you should think about the 20 mile mark of the marathon as the 'half-way' point in the marathon - so get to 20 miles and then start the second half of the run!
As a marathon first-timer (FLM08) its so useful to see some advice from experienced marathoners. I bet that there are a lot of other people on these forums that have knowledge of running marathons that you can't learn about till you've actually run the distance. so...
What one piece of advice would you offer to a marathon first-timer? Whats the one thing that you wish you'd known for running a marathon, that you have learnt through experience?
Most importantly ...
Have a number of goals from 'best I could ever hope for' to 'gone pear shaped'. Adjust you aims and expectations as the race goes on. If you only have one aim then you may be badly disappointed. For all that training, time and effort you should be able to take many positives away.
on a practical note
1) cut your toe nails one week before hand (very serious)
2) carry lucozade pouch lids and water bottle lids as they are provided already open
3) boys should tape up their nipples.
4) smile and enjoy it
You can never have enough Vaseline, Going to the loo after might be a problem (if anyone reading this has had a baby think of that level of pain), If this is the FLM make sure you don't go to the loo on the mosque before Canary wharf (it's not very well sign posted, it's both wrong and the look of contempt will put you off), you will have the best pint of your life after & mostly enjoy yourself!!!!!
p.s. There is another Owl on here hurrah!
Re the vaseline- I put some on my forehead to stop the sweat running into my eyes and it worked really well until on the embankment I poured a little water onto my head to cool off as I often do, and it just washed pure salt into my eyes-agony!
Also I untucked my vest from my shorts at one point-couldn't get it back in the way I wanted it for miles.
The tiniest thing that would be inconvenient in a 10k becomes a major problem at marathon distance. Everything is magnified.
Be prepared to cry at the end. In front of all your hard as nails mates.
If you wear a bum bag, make sure it doesn't wear a large hole through the skin in the small of your back. It stings a bit afterwards.
Don't EVER go for a time on your first go. Very important.
Get to the start early and enjoy the moment.
Well not everything is magnified!, but definitely on that area yes!
Enjoy it! Not just the Big Day but the training and the hard work and effort, be proud of yourself.
Be organised - plan everything, think about what energy drinks/gel you will use (poss do your last LSR as a pre-race 'dress rehearsal'), what you will wear (in cold and hot conditions), have you packed safety pins etc, pre race transport, anyone to look after a warm top for the end etc!!! The minor details can make a difference.
Plan what pace you set out at and STICK TO IT!!!! Re-assess that if needed and do that fairly early (I knew after 3 miles last year that I needed to slow down just a teeny bit, only 5 secs per mile but it made a difference) Have three time goals in mind, it's impossible to know what will happen on the day.
I did have time in mind for my first attempt last year and I got within 2 minutes of that time so it can work, even on your first marathon. Granted though I had done a lot of training.
Believe you can do it, I think this matters more in the marathon than for shorter distances, you have to have that mental strength in the last 6 miles no matter how fast you go or how much training you have done that you can continue at that pace until the end.
Be prepared to laugh and cry and feel elated and it all to feel slightly surreal afterwards.
Be prepared to feel knackered the week after!!!
Be prepared to feel a bit flat the week after that!
And practise going down the stairs backwords!
Ive only done the one ( FLM 07 ) but check the weather forcast . Theres nought you can do about it but the mental understanding of knowing if your going to be running in any extremes might make some of those " what the fcuk am i doing here" a little easier to deal with , and if i may add a second its how brilliant the massive crowd are every foot of the way but i found it a bit over whelming in places ( tower bridge ) all i can say is take it all in and enjoy every last second of it and keep the memories for they are truly special
2)sunglasses, hat, oldes comfiest bra, short and top all practiced in
3) disposable camera in your kit bag. My fav photos ever are the ones me and hubs took jsut before the start and just after the finish.
5) DO NOT be disapointed if you are slower than you planned. It's just too bloody long to be sure how you will cope.
6) There is no such thing as too many gels. Especially if the buggers fall out of our belt during the race.
7) My personal mantra after bitter experience is : Don't stop, stretching will not help the pain go away.
8) If doing FLM just write off the first couple of miles - everyone stops at least twice in the first mile.
Oh yeah - you will be a bit depressed the week after but you will cheer up when you sign up for the next race.
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