Advice for the Marathon Virgin
By Brady and Jim
Some marathon newbies train for months and months. Then, there are people like Mike, who sign up for a marathon two weeks out — and haven’t trained for it.
Mike (aka @egggman) is running the Waterloo Marathon on Sunday. He’s never run more than 7.5 miles. He’s raced once. Two days prior to a 10k last year, he got a request to run it. He finished in 45:29, having not run for two-plus months. Not bad, eh?
I’m not worried about the Egggman. While he hasn’t trained for the marathon, he runs on average 20 to 25 miles a week. And, he’s an avid cyclist. He might hurt Sunday, but I believe he’ll finish the marathon — and probably in a time that blows me away.
This is a big weekend for marathons, and for many of you running them, it’ll be your first time going 26.2. Whether you’ve been training for 18 weeks or will be running on faith like Mike, Jim and I have come up with a few tips for you:
- run by the side of the street so people can cheer you on
- give the kids high 5s… and make the adults do it too
- tape or write your name on your shirt
- wear BodyGlide or Vaseline…for when the going gets rough
- always start slower and plan to finish stronger
- seriously. start slower otherwise you will bonk and never want to do it again
- it’s your day… have fun
- lay your stuff out on a chair the night before
- do not try ANYTHING new on race day
- take the jolly ranchers. YUMMY!
- forget the wall around mile 20. it’s a door to the final 6.2 miles. run through it
- smile pretty for the camera
- come on, if you’re going to pay $19.95 for that 5X7 professional photo, you should look good, right?
- don’t rely on the gu stop for gu… they may run out. pack one or two
- oh yeah… don’t try to fight the crowd for water at the first table… go for the 2nd or 3rd table
- make sure to take the sports drink. you need electrolytes
- arrive to the race early so you can stand in line at the portapotties
- when you line up at the start if you are a 9 min mile go for the 9:30 pace line (more fun to pass people)
- HAVE FUN
Have your own tips for the Egggman and other virgin marathoners? Leave them in the comment section below!