3 Things To Keep In Mind For Your First Marathon


Running a marathon is no small event. When you commit to running a marathon, you also commit to consistently training for the preceding months and the planning that goes into that. The 26.2 miles is just the final act of a several-month-long journey. No wonder it can feel so deflating to drop out of a marathon. For this reason, it’s critical that a first-time marathon runner be aware of the nuances of the distance. Understanding the following three things should help to prevent any significant pacing mistakes.

 1. Don’t Get Too Excited

Your adrenaline will be through the roof as you await the start of the race. There will be a tremendous urge to throw caution to the wind and join the rest of the folks who are caught up in the excitement. Know yourself—and know your pace. 26.2 miles is a long distance. You can let those people run wild because you’re here to run your race. Besides, you’ll probably end up catching them on the backend of the race.

 2. Better Safe Than Sorry

If you have a goal pace that you want to run for the race, choose to veer on the slow side than on the fast side. You’ve done a lot of training, and the first half of the race may even seem surprisingly easy, but don’t let this fool you. The marathon is the turtle’s race—not the hare’s. The key to racing this distance is not overreacting to anything that you’re feeling or thinking, whether it be positive or negative. You have to think long-distance to race long-distance.

 3. The Wall is Real

You may have heard someone speaking of a mysterious wall that makes or breaks runners in the marathon. I’m sorry to say that for most runners it’s real. Sometime between mile 18 and 22, you’ll feel as if the rug was pulled out from under you. You will hate everything. No matter how well you were feeling, once you hit the wall, you will experience utter despair. That’s okay. It happens to everybody. Don’t fight the wall. Accept it and run through it. If you understand that this is a typical marathon experience, you’ll be better prepared to endure it and cross the finish line.


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