Sssshhh – don’t tell the experts but some of the best advice I got while training for my first marathon last year was from fellow runners. The running community is super supportive and people were really generous with their advice.
In the same spirit as I received these little nuggets of knowledge, I’m sharing them with you.
Hope they help you like they helped me!
And please let me know your top tip: tweet me @damekellyholmes
Don’t be shy – send me plenty. Training tips are like marathon training miles – the more the merrier!
- Plan your nutrition for the big day now. Try it in training to find out what works. Once you’ve got it right DON’T CHANGE IT.
- If you want to use the on-course nutrition, find out what food and drink they’ll be offering and try that in training so you know it’ll suit you. (If it doesn’t suit you in training, it won’t suit you on race day so you’ll need to take your own nutrition and hydration and forgo the freebies).
- DON’T RUN IN NEW KIT! Train in the outfit you plan to run in on race day. Break it in, remove any labels that are rubbing, check it’s comfy. A few washes to soften any seams helps. This tip is even more important if you’re planning any fancy dress!
- Buy blister preventing powder. Apply liberally on your feet and anywhere clothes might rub: groin, short waist band, bra band and straps, vest top straps and around arms.
- There is no wall. It only appears if you’re running faster than your capability. Slow down and the wall will fall.
- Stretch, stretch and then stretch a bit more – try yoga or Pilates.
- Do some of your last few runs with other people: a half marathon, 10K or even parkrun will boost your awareness of running alongside others – and boost your morale too.
- Remember why you’re doing this: it’s the biggest motivator of all.
- Imagine the finish and remember ‘pain is temporary, pride is forever’.
It’s better to be undertrained than overtrained: stick to your plan, don’t panic or try to bank ‘catch up miles’ – you risk injury.