Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Top 5 Mistakes Beginner Marathoners Make

I know many of you out there reading this are first timers so I want to share a few pieces of advice with you before the big day.  Here are a few mistakes I have learned from over the years:

1- Going out TOO fast!  You don't have to be a beginner to make this mistake, but you will learn from it.  The first several miles of the marathon are amazing.  Your adrenaline is pumping, the crowd is thick and you feel great.  It is hard NOT to go fast.  The real race starts at mile 18 when the crowd thins, your body is tired and you still have 8 miles to go.  Make sure you reserve some energy for that.

2. Being stingy with the bodyglide. There is nothing worse than having legs that feel great- except for the raw skin that has chafed on your upper thigh.  Yuck.  Make sure you are over enthusiastic with that body glide on your arms, legs and anywhere else you might get rubbed.

3. Having spectators look for them.  Find out where your spectators are going to be (including which side of the street) and you keep your eye out for them.  It is really hard for a spectator to spot you in the moving sea of 35,000 runners, but there is a good chance you can find them.

4. Not having a bathroom plan!  If you have not started talking about it yet, you will after October 9th.  Poop.   Experienced runners know that if you don't get it out before the race, there is a real possibility it will come out during the race, and that is bad.   Remember that when you arrive at the race Sunday morning you are going to be sharing the port-a-potties with 35,000 others which can lead to some killer lines.  Plan to arrive early or get it out of the way at home before you go.

5. Trying new shoes/clothes/food day of race.  I have said it before and I will say it again- please don't try anything new on race day.  Go with what you know and you will be fine.  New shoes (even the same brand, make, etc) may have a stitch that gives you a blister the size of a quarter.  The new flavor of gel could make you want to hurl.  Best to be safe and go with the old stuff.

I hope I have saved a few catastrophes!
-Coach A

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