I knew that if I tagged along with Kaydi and Carolyn for their run that I was going to be pushed… I was very right.
These two are fast and kept me moving when I really wanted to quit.
4-mile w/u, 10 x 2 minutes HARD with 60-second recoveries, c/d and a total of 12.4 miles @ 7:00 pace. The first 5 intervals were really rough for me and then Carolyn reminded me to lean forward and pump my arms and that really helped me out a lot.
Isn’t it crazy how long 2 minutes can feel when you are running at your top speed?! Yet those one minute recoveries just flew by in a blink.
I do not know how these friends of mine run in this heat every day, it was toasty.
While the run was challenging, it was really nice to feel awake again and not worried that I’m overtrained (like I did when I was taking Zyrtec every morning and not connecting the dots).
I did a 20-minute lower body workout and foam rolled like crazy.
The rest of our day was spent at the Virgin River right next to Grandpa’s Pond with my cousins and brother’s family. We soaked up a bit more of St. George and then headed home!
Let’s get talking about running your first marathon and if you’ve already completed a marathon, please include your tips in the comments! These pointers below are all just my own opinion and what I have found to work for me! I’ll include my thoughts on the training and race day.
My first marathon–> Salt Lake City Marathon 2010:
*Don’t let your mind get stale. It’s easy to have this happen when you are in marathon training. Switch up your route, get on the dirt when you can, run near water, run with people, run with your dog, and switch things up often to keep your mind fresh over the next 12-16 weeks. This will help you stay excited.
*One day at a time. You have no need to worry about everything up ahead. You just need to worry about doing your workout that day and with time, your body will build up to those big runs up ahead.
*Motivation isn’t what gets us to the starting line… discipline does. Those first few weeks of marathon training always have me feeling as motivated as ever to race. At about 6 weeks in, my motivation fades (mostly because I am tired) and I rely on staying disciplined in my training. You are not alone if you lose motivation over the weeks of training but stick to the goal you have made, you can do hard things and get out the door.
*Consistency is KEY but it’s normal to miss a run here and there. Being consistent with your training is necessary for finishing a marathon BUT be okay when life hits and you might have to miss a run or two. This has happened for me throughout each training cycle and everything still goes great on race day. Do your best and forget the rest.
*Just start without thinking. One of the reasons I like running early is because I don’t wake up for the first few miles. Don’t think, just start and you’ll feel better as you go.
*Invest and then do a lot of laundry if you need to;). My running is so much happier when I am wearing things that fit and feel right. Some of those pieces may be a bit pricier than I would like to spend on clothing/shoes but it makes the entire experience so much better.
*If something is hurting and feels like it could be an injury, it’s better to take a few days off vs running through it and being injured for months.
*Fuel more than you think you should. I am kind of jealous if you figure this out with your first marathon because it took me 8 years of marathoning to truly figure this out. The more I fuel, the better I run. Maurten is my all-time favorite. For Boston I took a Maurten caffeine gel 5 minutes before the start, a normal Maurten at mile 4, a normal Maurten at mile 8, a normal Maurten at mile 12, a caffeine Maurten at mile 16, and a caffeine Maurten at mile 21. I never felt like I hit the wall because I kept up on my fuel along the way. It is really hard to catch back up with your fueling during a race so start it right from the beginning and your long runs make the best dress rehearsal for race day so practice, practice, practice. PS another reason I love Maurten is because you don’t need to drink water with it like you do other gels. This way I can take the gel RIGHT when I need to rather than waiting until I get to the next water station.
*This is a photo from the Boston marathon expo when I saw bagels in Lauren’s side pockets of her backpack. We ate so many bagels that weekend. I’m not an expert on how to carb load and fuel but I have learned so much from following Jackie and Holley on IG!
*Water-> You have a few options for this! You can plan your long-run routes around where drinking fountains are in your area! You can get a pack like this one (which I absolutely love, I just make sure I wear short sleeves when I wear it so I don’t chafe). You can carry a handheld water bottle or get mini bottles to fit in your shorts pockets. You can also plant water bottles/gatorade along your route the night before you run it. Most marathons will offer aid stations often throughout the race so you probably don’t need to carry water with you but if you found one of the previous methods to work great during your long run, bring it on race day too!
*I love using shorter races as part of my training. It helps me to feel less nerves about racing the more I do it! By the time the marathon rolls around, racing is just a normal weekend occurrence. I love having course support along the way and it adds excitement to training.
*Do not worry about that last 6.2 miles… the adrenaline, crowds, taper and training will take you the full 26.2 miles. I remember being so nervous about the jump from a 20 miler for my long run to then being able to run 26.2 miles on race day. Trust the magic of training. On race day, you will be able to make the jump. You do not need to run more than 20 miles (IMO) before your first marathon. You will be tapered and fresh on race day and during your you are doing your long runs on tired legs!
*Go out for your race slower than you think you should for the first half so that you can finish feeling good. It’s so easy to get carried away with the energy and then bonk half-way through. Practice patience and if you want, try to speed up a little bit every 10k along the way to the finish.
*Don’t try anything new on race day. Stick to the things you have practiced with and take time to really figure out what helps you to feel your best when you are running.
Crossing that finish line is going to be amazing. Your have so much potential. Be your own biggest cheerleader and let me cheer you on too by letting me know how your training is going. I’m here for ANY questions that you have.
Have any tips for someone running their first marathon? Please share and tell us what your first marathon was!
What was the best part of your weekend?
What’s the temperature for your runs lately?
A reader has an important question, “Have you or any of your running buddies experienced pelvic organ prolapse after childbirth? It would be interesting to hear how people performing at a high level managed prolapse.. it seems like a relatively common issue with little information available on how to maintain normal exercise activities.”