No matter what way you look at it, committing to running your first full marathon is quite the accomplishment! For both beginner runners and experienced. The 26.2 miles is life changing! It takes hard work, dedication, commitment, tears, sweat and drive - but it is all worth it. Leading up to the monumental big day, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration to train successfully and run across that finish line with a smile across your face.
Avoid these few mistakes:
1. Not incorporating enough strength training into your training program. Strength training is important for all runners and should not be overlooked or avoided. When incorporated properly, it can help shave off injury, make for speedier times, and boost recovery times.
2. Not fueling properly. If this is your first marathon, you may not super familiar with needing nutrition for your runs. Unlike a 5k or 10K races, it’s essential to reach for nutrition when you’re striding for longer periods of time. It is suggested to reach for some form of nutrition during exercise for any run over 45-75 minutes in length (depending), whether it be energy gels, raisins, or something else. I know for me when it comes to running the 26.2 miles I aim for 3-4 gels. AND when it comes to marathon day, runners should have already tested their nutrition plan and fueling strategy so they know what works for them.
3. Nothing new race day. Which comes to this point... it is race day, the day you've been reaching for. Do not try any new foods, drinks, etc come race day. It is imperative that you have tried it all prior to race day so that you feel your best. This includes no new shoes, no new clothing, socks or anything that has the potential to cause issues.
4. Not taking recovery seriously. Make sure to practice proper nutrition to fuel the body. And hydrate hydrate hydrate. Incorporate electrolytes to replenish the body, rest, stretch and practice active rest days. Be sure to take time off to recover
5. Not mentally preparing. Race day is not all physical, as you've been training, no doubt you realized the mental side of running a marathon. There is a lot of mental training during a marathon. Visualization needs to happen, for example picture yourself running 15 miles, 20 miles, then crossing the finish line. Think about how your body feels, what it needs. This is vital in order to create a mind/body connection.