8 Keys to Succeeding in Your First Marathon
42,195 km. The most legendary distance in the world of athletics, the marathon, that event for which you have been preparing yourself for months and which is so intimidating. Running a marathon is a personal challenge, especially if it’s your first and you have your family and friends on your side. If you want to successfully finish your debut at the age of forty-two with a hundred and ninety-five kilometres, don’t miss these tips to get through your first marathon successfully:
1. Don’t obsess over time
If you run, you’re sure to have a purpose, which has to be realistic and stick to the training you’ve done. Still this way, you don’t know how the body will respond as the miles go by. Between thirty and thirty-five kilometres you will cross the”wall of the marathon”, the hardest moments. Don’t hesitate to slow down, always and in all circumstances it is better to end up with a worse than expected time than to fatigue and not finish.
2. A logical training
You can’t prepare for a marathon in a couple of weeks, you’ll need at least three months, although six are ideal, in which we’ll also run 10K, 15K or half marathon events. The average is practically compulsory, and this experience will help you to get used to the rhythm of the race and to get used to running with a number or to answer to the different situations you will find yourself in the marathon.
3. Do not experiment
Having run before will help you find the best nutrition. On the day of the competition you should never eat anything new, try new gels or bars, etc. Don’t try new miracle athletic drinks or energy superfoods either. The same applies to the shoes and clothes, don’t open them on the day of racing. Better to have made them miles to avoid chafing.
4. Come with time
Access to the finish line is sometimes messy. You have to manage your nerves, there are queues in the bathroom or in the closets, there are going to be cut off streets and public transport will be full of runners and companions…. It is better to get up about thirty or forty-five minutes before arriving at the right time. This way, you will also be able to warm up a little more, whether it is by subtly rolling, stretching or jumping around.
5. The animators
I’m sure you’re looking forward to meeting your partner, your children, your parents or your friends along the way. You must place them at strategic points, where you know you will need encouragement. The passage through the half marathon or the wall are two strategic points for that ethical high you need to finish. Besides this, knowing that they are there is another motivation to keep running.
6. Split the distance
A good trick to lie our psyche and prepare for the marathon is to divide the race into small sections. It is often done in sections of five km, to which the remaining 2,195 meters are added. I’m sure that with the watch you can take part time to part time, starting from 0 again, which will motivate you even more. The ideal thing to do in your first marathon is to start soft and try to hold the time – or improve it – in the next part.
7. Hydration and nutrition
Drink every five kilometres and use the gel every ten kilometres. It’s almost mandatory. The worst thing that can happen to you is to dry up or run out of energy, something that is partially common in the first marathon, so don’t forget the water or a drink with mineral salts, especially on the hottest days. The fast assimilation gels will help you to restore energy to finish the test. It is also essential that you pay attention to your nutrition and discuss any concerns with your dietitian.
8. No fear of stopping
It may be that cramps, stomach problems, fatigue, etc. may appear. If you have any muscular problems, it may be due to an excessive rhythm, poor hydration or defective training; but in no case should you stop. It’s always best to take a few minutes to stretch and relax your muscles a little before resuming walking at a slower pace than before.
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