Set a goal, make a plan, and work consistently toward it - this is a Golden Rule of basically every endeavor in life, many would agree. It also applies to running a marathon, no surprise. However, if you are reading this - it is very likely, you are already done with the first two steps and probably in the active phase of working on the third one..good job by the way!
Well, the prime focus in your preparation to a 26mi (42k) run is still running your mileage, no secret. Day after day, week after week, increasing the volume step by step (just as we do adapting your plan in OMY! Sports. You have to make your body accustomed with the distance and adjust regeneration mechanism, therefore consistency is the key. Yet, even coming to terms with training, after every other grand debut, we would often hear something like “Oh I wish I knew that before the race” - the hints that can make your race day a bit better and weight off extra stress from your shoulder.
Let’s dive right in! 🤿
1.One thing you can do even before hitting that registration button → Study the course.
Knowing the route will make you more confident, help rid of unexpected surprises, and in fact activate your strategical thinking to allocate the energy along the elevation gains. Use tools like
- Elevation Profile Maps
- Race websites, or
- Taking it up a notch, you can even tattoo (washes away in a day or two) your race route with metric marks using services of companies like elevationtat so nothing would be left to chance.
2.Once you started, watch your water.
You don’t want to be dehydrated, of course, but even less you want to overdo it. Overhydration will drop your sodium level putting at risk your perfomance and health. You need to restore electrolytes along the way, which brings about hitting gatorades at least at a couple of aid stations in addition to water. It’s a balancing act. Keep it in mind and pactice during long run sessions to learn your body needs. Do the same with your gels.
3.Remember that the real race starts after 20 mile line.
Have you heard about the ‘Wall’?) Maybe some of your running mates have shared this daunting term or you spotted a comment on social media? Anyway, it is real. Right when you feel like the show is pulling to a close, after running 2-3 hours, the challenge begins, the body will feel like struggling, the discomfort sets in, then the weather gets windy..but you must go on! There is a proven method - proper pacing! Pushing through sounds motivating unless it makes you fall apart before the finish line. From the beginning to an end, follow the (O’MY!Sports) plan and hold your pace - not that of the fast ones ahead of you.
It is worth reminding yourself during training that it is your last miles of your long runs that lead to your marathon result. Practice mental focus and resilience just as your body fitness. You don’t want to trade health for perfection at you first marathon. And it does get easier with time.
4.Beware Taper weeks
As we repeat over and over again, long runs are very important in a marathon build-up. At the same time, you’d better complete the last one around three weeks prior to the event day. Your mileage should go down closer to the ‘day X’ but don’t cut down your trainings alltogether. Tapering is not stopping. Reducing the volume while maintaining fitness level enables recovering from the compounded fatigue and can benefit your performance with an extra energy boost when it’s needed at most. Otherwise, the opposite effect will catch you up faster than that weird guy behind.
Hard times are always easier to get through with people by your side. As they say ‘if you want to go far-go together’. The idea of running 42k solo in a foreign place..can scare you off and very unfavourably, if right before the race. Whether it rings a bell or not - finding a pacing group is key. Do it ahead of time in the race’s facebook group, website discussion forum, etc. Do not hesitate to reach out to the organisers if you are not sure where to find the information. Next, advicable is to schedule meeting-up a day before the start and figure out who is running what time to have your pacemates identified. Allow yourself to embrace the communal feeling and share the joy with those around you.
🔔Highly recommended to set a notification to look through these notes once every other week at the final phase of preparation.
🗒️If we caught you at the stage of setting a goal - we have you covered! Download our app, enter the race, generate your personal adaptive training plan, and get the ball rolling!