Unless you are very new here, you know that a couple of weeks ago, I ran my first marathon. It was an absolutely incredible experience and I learned so many things through the training process and the actual race.
- Be prepared for all weather conditions. I was prepared for cold and I was prepared for heat. However, I listened to the forceast and wasn’t prepared for the rain. As I mentioned last week, my only regret is not changing my wet socks before the race. It was stupid and I paid a price for it.
- When traveling to a race, especially a marathon, think carefully about where you stay. I stayed about two blocks from the start line and less than a mile from the finish line. It was a great decision and I highly encourage you to think about the distance from start and finish lines when deciding where to stay.
- Running a marathon is an emotional experience. I really had no idea how emotional I would feel about the total experience. I’m not sure there is a way to prepare for that part, but it’s something to keep in mind.
- Running just 20 miles before race day isn’t enough. Let me be clear — this is just based on my experiences. I simply wasn’t prepared for how much things would hurt after mile 20. I’m definitely planning on running 22 miles before my next marathon. Knowing what happens after mile 20 will also contribute to having a bit more confidence before raceday. Again, everyone is different and it is VERY common for people to only run 20 before race day. But for me, I will make sure to run 22 before attacking the marathon again.
- Have a great plan. I really thought that the plan I used (Run Your First Marathon) worked well for me. I only missed a handful of runs and I was able to do most of my runs with a buddy. However, I really want to kick it into gear for my next marathon and so I’ve decided to do a formal training program this next time around. I’ll share more about that later this week, but it’s important to think about what kind of training plan will work for you.
What’s the #1 thing you learned at your first race?