17 things our RW runners wish they’d known before their first marathon

Our Runner’s World runners know a thing or two about running, so we asked them to share the one thing they wish they’d known before running their first marathon. Here's what they had to say:

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1. That it is all about finishing, not the time you cross the line.

2. That the marathon begins at mile 20 - the earlier miles are the warm up.

3. To stick to what you did in training - don’t accept jelly babies or gels from strangers if you’re not used to running with them!

4. That saying ‘never again’ after crossing the finish line means nothing - you’ll sign up to another one in a few weeks time.

5. That your toenails will never be the same again.

6. That phone batteries often don’t last a marathon, especially if you’re tracking your run and listening to music.

7. That it all goes by in a blur.

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8. That it’s as much of a psychological challenge as it is a physical challenge - believe in yourself, and no self-bullying!

9. To take a pair of flip flops in my kit bag to get you home.

10. To not panic if you’ve not managed to sleep the night before. Nervous energy is a real thing, rest and relax the day before.

11. That you’ll get an overwhelming surge of emotions when crossing the finish line.

12. That stairs would be so difficult the next day.

13. Not to start too fast. No, really - just don’t.

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14. To run with toilet roll if you think you’re going to need to use the portable toilets. Also, not to sit down on the toilet seat mid-race - you’ll never get back up!

15. To wear your name on your vest - the encouragement from the crowd will get you round.

16. How absolutely fantastic it would be - the buzz is amazing and lasts for weeks.

17. No matter what the conditions or weather throw at you, you will get round - don’t panic and try and enjoy it!