Before any big race, the biggest fear in the back of every first marathon runner’s mind is not being able to complete the race. There is nothing worse than training so hard for the race, only to make a mistake and receive a “did not finish” (DNF) stamp at the end.
To calm your nerves, only about 1.3 percent of marathon runners get the DNF stamp at the end of the race, but you do not want to be part of that statistic.
Mistakes happen, however, there are many ways to avoid the chance of making one that would cost you a lot of time, or even worse, the race.
So the problem is, how do you avoid making these mistakes so you can increase your chances of rocking your first marathon?
Keep on reading to learn what you can do to avoid making any first-timer mistakes.
1. Learn to Fuel Adequately
Training for your first marathon involves more than just physical running, you also need to practice your fuel intake. Knowing your body and what works for you is imperative to your marathon success.
Before any big training days, record and observe what your pre-running meals were, and how you felt afterward. This involves what you ate the night before, as well as what you had before and during the race.
There are many different philosophies on what people should eat, but it all really comes down to your body and what fuels you the best. Experiment with different gels, pre-workout mixtures, fruits, fats, carbohydrates, proteins, and hydrating formulas.
2. Find a Running Group
Solo runs are unavoidable for the most part, especially with a busy schedule. However, there are many benefits to joining a marathon running group in addition to your solo training sessions.
Joining a group gives you the opportunity to make new friends who share the same running passions as you, and it also provides you with experts who know what they are talking about. As you run, the experienced runners will give you tips, and socialize with you to help you better prepare for your first marathon.
Meetup.com is a great way to meet other runners, or you can find out about running clinics and groups at your local marathon apparel store.
3. Wear the Right Attire
Before you get all excited and purchase an entirely new outfit for your first marathon, you may want to think again. If you are wearing something new, you are increasing your chances of wearing something that may not fit you right, leading to chafing, blisters, and other awkward moments.
Instead, wear something that you know fits you well and that you have trained in many times before the marathon.
4. Pace Yourself
As you begin your race, you are going to experience a burst of energy as you get out of the gate. Do not be fooled by this as it is mainly adrenaline and it will eventually subside.
Pace yourself like you have been doing in your training, and you won’t experience a sudden crash by the time you hit mile 13. Practicing your cadence is a great way to keep a smooth pace and not overdo yourself.
Learn More Tips For Your First Marathon
In order to avoid your first marathon running mistakes, you need to practice properly and plan ahead. Doing so will put you ahead of many other first-timers and help you to achieve a great time!
After your first marathon, you will be excited to run another. To keep that passion going strong, check out our marathon jewelry so you can show off proudly what you have accomplished!