There are some 800 marathons held annually around the world, with some 250 marathons held annually in the USA alone. And only some 1 to 2% of the population has ever run a marathon.
If you have decided to run a marathon but do not know where to begin, then here are seven marathon running tips for you.
Tip #1 – Expect to train for several months for your first marathon.
Here is a secret unknown to most non-marathoners: The marathon is not the marathon. In other words, the true marathon is the months and months of training that go into preparing for a single morning of running. If you have never run the distance of a marathon, you must build your endurance, and you do this through several months of training.
Tip #2 – Join a group training program.
There is nothing like a group training program to teach you how to train for a marathon, to give you opportunities for long training runs with hydration and nutrition support beyond what your hydration belt can hold, and to stimulate a sense of accountability to others that will motivate you to persist through months of training.
Tip #3 – Register as soon as possible for your marathon.
Many marathon websites make it look as if you have a several-month time window during which to register. The reality is that many marathons now fill so quickly that you should register as soon as possible for yours. To be sure, plan to register within a couple of hours of the opening of online registration. Yes, registration can be that competitive!
Tip #4 – Follow advice from experienced marathoners.
Listen to experienced marathoners for advice. One of the best pieces of advice is simple: Do not change anything on race day from what you were doing, using, wearing, or eating in the weeks leading up to race day.
Tip #5 – Take care of yourself.
Be good to yourself. If a pain persists, then get medical attention. If advised to rest, then rest. Watch your weight so that you know that you are staying hydrated. Find foods that nourish you — both on the road and after long runs.
Tip #6 – Get inspiration.
Read books such as 50/50, which was written by ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes about his completing 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. Watch DVDs about marathons and ultramarathons. Ask coaches what inspires them to run marathon after marathon.
Tip #7 – Expect that your first marathon will be a success.
The word “success” is very subjective. No matter what success means to you, daily visualize the end-result that you desire. For example, if success to you means a 5:30:00 chip-time, then take a few minutes daily to visualize yourself crossing the finish line with 5:30:00 displayed on your chronograph.