Sunday, September 26, 2010

Questions, Questions, Questions

So all the hard work is done - what next? I know I've got to run this thing but I'm really not sure how to do it (apart from left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot) I'm wondering how I should pace myself and how will I keep myself going when my brain starts screaming at me to stop.

I know that a lot/most of you out there have done this before and I'd really like to pick your brains for any morsel of useful/dubious/useless advice that you'd like to share. Things that other people shared with you. Things that worked or didn't work for you. War stories. Anything marathon-related.

I'll be doing the same at my running group. I'm an information-junkie and I firmly believe that Scientia est Potestas - Knowledge is Power


  1. Well, I'm definitely not an expert, but here's my opinion: pace yourself just like you've done in training. Eat your regular pre-run meal before your race. And DEFINITELY enjoy your accomplishment!!

  2. Believe, have faith, and be confident because you put the hard training time in. You are so ready for this and the race is just a celebration of what you have already accomplished. Taper time is the worst because the brain plays games, and doubt enters the equation. Do nothing different then your long training runs, and with the taper to replenish your body, you will be surprised just how good you really are. Feel free to drop the hammer after the 20 mile mark.

  3. What may have helped me the most was to keep my thoughts positive or reframe them. If I was tired, I would think of course I am tired I have run 20 miles already. I had attended a workshop at the Expo about this and I thought it was hokey but I used it a lot. Know that you have prepared and you can do it!!!

  4. Also I have to say I just had a blast my first marathon. I smiled a lot and waved to everyone I knew and so appreciated all those who came to support me. I dedicated the last 6 miles to 6 people and thought about them those miles to help me get through them I had dedicated two of the miles to my parents who are no longer living and my mom's mile was tough and I really felt she helped me.

  5. I'm so excited for you!! You only get one first marathon, so ENJOY it! (even when it hurts)

    Other than that, break it up mentally into more manageable chunks, whether based on distance, land marks, when your support will be, etc.

  6. Just do as you have trained.

    You've got this!!

  7. At first, I'm sure you had a good training. Follow your average pace!
    Then, as you know, the night before a marathon you need carbs. Don't make complicated dishes! Moreover, the race morning breakfast is important for success (I like bread with honey and 1/2 cup orange juice).
    When yu'll visit Italy you have a thermal bath here near Rome :) It is suitable for athletes after sport activity.
    Enjoy the race Char!

  8. Leave your watch at home!
    Smile, give high fives, and hugs!
    Say thank you to the volunteers.
    Break up the race into 10ks, it seems easier that way!
    Don't ever think of how much you have left to run, think, "Oh, I'm at mile 13 already! I've run 13 miles!"
    Take two Jolly Rancher's/hard candies, to reward your self along the way. The sugar does wonderful things to your brain and keeps your energy up. I don't do this anymore but it helped me during my first marathon and I'll never forget how great I felt holding that candy between my teeth for as long as possible. A friend still gives me Jolly Ranchers before every marathon, as kind of a joke!
    When you get tired, run on behalf of someone who has really struggled this year and dedicate your strength and energy to them...and then tell them. It can be empowering to everyone.

    HAVE the time of your life, this IS the best time in your life and you will never forget this race...
    hugs and good luck. I can't wait to hear about it!

  9. The best advice I heard before my marathon was if you have to stop and walk, don't just start walking indefinitely. Give yourself a target of how far to walk before you run again, so when I got to 20 miles and started walking, I decided to walk the first .2 of each mile, then run to the next mile marker. That got me through the last 6 miles, and stopped me from aimlessly walking the rest of they way.

    However, I'm sure you won't need this advice, as you'll be running the whole thing, and faster than me too!


  10. just trust in your training and training pace. DONT go out faster then you have trained for.
    Oh ya have fun.

  11. I ran 3 marathons (1.48 - 1.34 - 1.46) and I always followed the same tips:
    - eat pasta the day before;
    - not to change the usual breakfast the morning before the race;
    - run at the pace you have already tested;
    - drink a little every 5 km after the first 20 without stopping;
    - listen to your body when you are at the 32° km (the famous 32° km /20° ml) crises.
    Good luck!!!!

  12. The marathons I have done that well on, I have just relaxed and didn't obsess over time and just told myself over and over and over: short, sweet, and light on my feet. When the pain and fatigue set it, I embraced it as the reward for all the hard work I've done...don't curse it, just accept it and run right through it. You CAN do it, I know you can. Trust your training, follow your nutrition and hydration plan to a T (I've ruined more races by not eating or drinking properly) and do NOT go out too fast. When you feel great a mile 20, then pick up the pace and bring 'er home!!!


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