I’ve been doing few marathons a year in the past three years and I wish I had such a list before my first race. I’m sure I could use it and avoid some of the common mistakes I did.
Tips for your next marathon:
- Remember that the hard part was the training period. All the long runs during the weekends alone or with a friend are the major hard part. Now (race day) you should try to enjoy as much as you can. So, relax. Yes, try to relax and go with what you know from your training. Eat what you regularly eat (I hope you know what bar make you happy… definitely do NOT try a new energy bar,gel during the race day), drink what you like to drink during the runs and wear your best gear that you used. In a nutshell, don’t try new stuff during the race.
Keep it simple and go with what you practiced.
- Choose your ‘race partner‘ – this is one of the most important aspects (for me) in a good/successful race. Afrer the first 4-5 miles, when you got into your pace, look around and search for the one that you think will go with you to the end (of the race). If you lucky, you will be able to find a partner and that making the all race better.
- Think on the next mile not the all race. It’s so much better to take (every project in life) step by step. You can break the race to 2,4,6,10 segments and think only on the next segment. It is a good feeling to ‘see’ your progress during the race.
- Check out #2 and #1 – do NOT start too quickly. No meter what girl/boy pass you without a visible effort.
It’s a common mistake. You should do what you practiced and don’t fool yourself that you will run in a faster pace during the race. Moreover, after 4-5 mile you should be in your normal ‘race pace’ and ‘race heart rate’ so make sure to pace yourself. Don’t let your ego win – it will hunt you down around the 20-22 mile.
- Adjust yourself and listen to your body. You can never know what the race will bring you. Sometimes it’s 120F temperature (Tel Aviv Marathon) and sometimes the climbs are crazy (each San Francisco marathon after the 23 miles). Show up with a flexible game plan and adjust as needed because in the end, it’s all about enjoying (or for the experts – performing) your best on that day.
Have fun and be strong!