Wednesday, August 25, 2010

First Marathon? No Sweat!

I'm happy to have Amanda here, as my first guest blogger, to share her advice for first time Marathon Runners......

Thanks to Molly for letting me invade her blog today! For those who haven't visited me at RunToTheFinish, swing by as I'd love to get to know you and learn from your running, biking, hiking, eating experiences!

Most people are shocked, surprised and in complete disbelief when I tell them that my first marathon was still my best race experience to date. That race was so good in fact I feared running another marathon and didn't sign up again for 3 years!! How was I able to have such a great experience?

TRAINING TIPS

1. Put in the miles. Don't worry about speed for this first race, just get in miles on your feet all week, every week.

2. Pat yourself on the back. It's easy to get bogged down in all those miles, unless you take time to really congratulate yourself on each milestone. Be amazed, awed and proud of each mile you run that is farther than the last week.

3. Find a pattern. Consistency is key for your first marathon, you need to create a habit. Run at the same time or the same path on certain days to create a natural rhythm to your life for the 18 weeks of training.

4. Choice. Realize that you don't "have to" run, you are a lucky person that "gets to" run. You have people in your life that make it possible for you to have the time to run, you have a body that allows you to run, etc...whatever it may be for you remember that this is your choice.

RACE DAY TIPS

1. Run it for fun! Your first marathon shouldn't be about hitting a specific time goal, it should be about crossing the finish line without wanting to kill someone.

2. Talk! I talked to all kinds of people throughout the race and that made the miles pass.

3. Thanks! Say thank you to spectators, to policemen, to the water stations...you'll be amazed at how saying thank you actually boosts your mood and hence keeps those legs pumping.

4. Pray! I kid sort of...but really once I hit mile 24 praying and saying thank you to some higher power helped me get my emotions under control and keep running.

5. SMILE!! You know the old saying fake it til you make it. It works with running too! If you keep smiling and reminding yourself that you are excited about this experience it makes the whole day amazing...take in every moment.

Have you run a marathon yet?? How did your first compare to any after that? If you haven't done one yet, I'd love to know why or will you ever?! I always said I wouldn't, but well...you get sucked in and 4 later I keep saying I won't do another one.

26 comments:

Katie H said...

Great tips Amanda! I always make certain to smile and thank the support and volunteers because the race wouldn't be possible without them!

I haven't run a marathon yet but I've been scheming... we'll see how my first half goes in October :)

Angie Bishop said...

Great advice!!
I totally agree with Fake it til you make it! Works wonders for sure :)

Robin said...

Great guest post! So nice to meet you, Amanda. :-) Thanks for the tips. I especially like the 'get the mileage in' reminder. I learned this the hard way last fall - with a much shorter event, but a lesson nonetheless!

As a type 2 diabetic runner, I have special issues w/ refueling while running (no pump yet), so I prefer the half-mary distance... and your advice definitely applies!

Thanks from Orlando!

Jon said...

Great post and advice! I gotta keep telling myself to hang back and NOT race this thing. I have NO idea what it is like to run this far yet, let alone race it.

Lisa said...

Hey Amanda, it's great to see you here! I love your tips, especially to remember that it is your choice to run the marathon. I think sometimes people (including myself) push themselves too hard to prove something to other people when it really should be about you and a personal accomplishment (unless you're running for a charity, and then it's also sort of about them!).
Great post!

Anne said...

Thanks so much...great advice!

Kristin (Triathlon Dreams) said...

I ran Lake Placid Marathon a few years back and I have yet to race another one!! I had so much fun not to mention we made a whole week trip out of it!! I am going to do a marathon in November.
Great Advice Amanda!! Smiling and saying thank you to the volunteers and chit chatting with people that want to talk along the way is awesome!! I did that for the first half of my marathon.

abbi said...

This is great advice - I agree with every single one of them and it's how I've been approaching training for my first!

Colleen said...

Great advice for a first timer! A marathon is such an amazing event and I think it's important to just be in the moment as much as possible. That never gets old!

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

wohooo glad people are liking the advice so far!

La Historiadora de Moda said...

These are fantastic tips! I hope that my second marathon is an even better experience than my first was last year!

Andrew Opala said...

Great Advice - I want to run a marathon now and I haven't even run my 5k yet!

Kellie said...

Great guest post! With my first marathon looming in front of me, I'm happy to hear all of this advice. Amanda - thanks for putting it in perspective!

runodonnell said...

Thanks for the advice. My first marathon is in 25 days!!

Zaneta said...

awesome tips! :D I'm getting ready to run my first half marathon adn i really want to run a marathon just to see what its like... to see if i like it... :D

Kelley said...

I have just started training for my first marathon and I appreciate the insider's tips. Thanks

akjenniekt said...

thanks amanda! i like seeing a guest blogger that i recognize (i read run to the finsh) :). those are great tips- i'm not at the point to think about training for a marathon but a lot of those i can apply to just my regular running- thanks!

Caratunk Girl said...

Great tips!

I think the biggest difference between my first and other marathons is confidence...My first I wasn't sure I could do the distance - I just wanted to finish! The other 4 I had more of a plan...I knew I could do the distance, respected it tremendously, but it was a matter of how fast...

Theta Mom said...

What awesome advice!! I am not planning on running a marathon, but every time I visit here I think about how I need to use that treadmill!

And it was SO great to "see" you again. :)

Erika said...

Love this...thank you!

Julie said...

Hi Molly,
I loved this! Amanda gives fantastic advice for first time marathoners:) I enjoyed this and found it very helpful!

Cynthia O'H said...

Great advice. I try to make a point of thanking the volunteers. In so many parts of life, volunteering is so underappreciated; I want to make sure they know how important they are on race day.

Jill said...

Thanks! I always love to hear first time marathoner give their take on the race!!

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

Thanks for all the great comments guys!

Jill -- I've actually run 4.. I just learned the most the first time around :)

Melissa said...

My first marathon was the greatest experience of my life! I, too, almost dreaded signing up for another one because I can't even fathom how it could possibly compare. I can't stay away, though - I am running my second one in October!

FruitFly said...

I totally agree with smiling! When I feel like I'm having a hard time I just force myself to smile. Pretty soon I've forgotten that I didn't feel I was doing my best, and I'm just actually smiling!
~RR