6 simple tips to complete your first marathon

19 Apr 2007 13:16
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Tips


This is it. Spring marathon season is on ! TV reports or passionate story from a friend or a colleague lead you to ask yourself this very simple question : why not me ?
You have made your decision. You too want to enter a marathon. It is far to late to get ready for a race before summer, but you can be fit and ready for autumn.

Here are 6 simple tips I can give you to help you in your quest : crossing the finish line after 42.195 km or 26.2 miles of running. I’ve followed some and some I wished I had been told to ease my training.

1. Cry out loud your decison to run your first marathon.
The main problem you will face during your first marathon isn’t physical, but psychological. Physically, nearly anyone can complete a marathon. But psychologically, It is quite difficult to keep on running with heavy legs when you pass the 30 km station.
Tell everyone around your that you’ll run a marathon, open up a blog, bet on the outcome with a friend. All these external triggers will be particularly useful when you’ll be on your own, on the road, running.

2. Select a marathon near your home.
It is useless to run anonymously far from home. I hear a lot of people tell they want to run their first marathon in New York City. although, the crowd is particularly warm and helpfull, you’ll still be one runner among tens of thousands. Running near your home guaranties you to encounter people you know or friends that came to support you. Is there a better support than a ‘Keep on Dad’ banner when it has been written by your own kids ?
If you don’t know yet if there’s a marathon in your neighborhood, I’m pretty sure you’ll find one on my web site www.42k195.com

3. By new gear (shoes, socks, T-shirt).
Take your gear seriously. You’ll use it during the next months on your many training sessions. Select shoes and socks you’re comfortable in. It is the best way to prevent blisters. The same is true for shorts and T-Shirts. The new technical fabric that are sold now, get rid of the sweat very efficiently and are much more pleasant to wear than old cotton ones.

4. Follow a training program.
There are many different types of programs. I’m not qualified enough to give any advise on that but I know that selecting one will help you stay focused. Your training will be much more regular than if you chose to run according to your mood.

5. Train with a friend.
This issue is related to the previous one. Having a training partner makes every session more pleasant and bearable. Your friend will get your out training even when it’s raining or when you’re a little tired.

6. Who cares about your time !
For your first marathon, you can forget about time. Your only goal must be to cross the finish line. You can do it…