Running your first marathon is a significant commitment and not just for the day of the race. Leading up to the big event you have to endure some serious training, eating, and mentally preparing the day.
If it all seems overwhelming and daunting, it is, but there is good news. One running coach recently spoke with PopSugar and gave some tips for running your first marathon. Olympic distance runner Roberto Mandje shared great insight into how to make you feel like a total champ after you cross the finish line for the first time.
He shared it is imperative to invest in a proper running shoe. Even though this can be a little pricey, having the right pair of shoes on race day will be worth any amount you pay for the shoes. Most training shoes are not meant for running; so do not just assume your regular old gym shoes will cut it. Mandje suggests visiting a running store and having an assessment done to determine the best type of shoe for you.
Training for a marathon can be daunting, and if not done correctly will hurt you on the day of the race. Signing up for a training group or coach will be extremely beneficial. Even if you follow a beginner-training plan, which is recommended, a group or coach is great for motivation as well as accountability.
Don't go too fast on race day, however. Mandje revealed the most common mistake among first-time marathon runners is going too fast out of the gate. It will mess with your pace if you start off too fast. He suggests running at the same speed for the first few miles, then switching to running even splits throughout your final miles.
Stay hydrated when running during training and the day of the race. Dehydration is the number one cause of cramps, and nobody wants to endure a cramp when running a marathon. However, if you do cramp up, do not panic. Stay calm, slow down and focus on relaxing. Keeping salt tablets handy during the race is an excellent way to help with cramps as well.
The most important tip for your first marathon, try to enjoy yourself. It may be grueling, but it should also be extremely rewarding.