Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tips For Running A Marathon

In less than one week my wife will be running her first marathon, the Park City Marathon. I am excited that I will be running the race with her. And my brother is running his first marathon in one month. I am far from being an expert on the art of marathon running, but based on my limited experience, allow me to provide a few tips for people preparing for their first marathon:
  • Just know: THIS IS GOING TO HURT. Really bad. I experienced pain like I have never felt before. Your legs will HATE you. Every cell of your body will probably revolt. But I think it's helpful to know it's going to hurt really bad so when it hits, you won't be surprised. Then you can just accept it and keep going. You'll be okay. Odds are that you probably won't die.
  • Never, EVER eat anything from McDonalds any closer than one week before the race.
  • Especially for a first marathon, don't be too overly ambitious. I recommend doing it for the experience, and having your goal be to finish instead of going for a certain time. I know, if your brain is anything like mine, "just finishing" isn't as much of a challenge. Um, yea. You won't be thinking that "just finishing" is so bad around mile 22.
  • You know the old adage that the first 20 miles is the first half of the race and the last 6 miles are the second half of the race? If you ask me, that is completely true. I believe the last 6 miles are as hard as the first 20. So plan accordingly. Make a conscious effort to conserve some of your effort and energy for those last 6.
  • Get a drink at EVERY aid station, even if you don't feel thirsty. When you're running that far it's hard to stay hydrated. You need all the help you can get.
  • Don't be afraid to walk. I'm a firm believer in Jeff Galloway's Run/Walk method. I recommend that every runner check out Jeff's website (you can Click Here) to get training tips. My running, recovery, and amount of injuries has changed significantly since I started using his method.
  • Make a sincere effort to not throw up on somebody's shoes. At my first marathon I saw a lady launching bright orange Gatorade everywhere. Gross. It's okay if I stain my shoes orange, but I don't want anyone else doing it for me.
  • Be prepared for that moment when you realize that running is the WORST hobby ever and you just want to give up. Remember to think about your family, and the people you love, and how incredibly awesome it is that you are running a marathon (!!!!) and that you CAN do this.
  • Give a high five to every spectator you see. Granted, this expends a little energy, but the boost of moral support more than makes up for the little bit of effort it takes to raise your hand (which becomes progressively more challenging toward the end of the race).
  • Crossing that finish line for the first time is an unforgettable experience. You will feel exhaustion greater than ever before. But the pride will immediately erase the pain you had been feeling for 26.2 miles. You have just accomplished something that nobody can take away from you. As you cross that finish line, you will realize that there is NOTHING you can't do. Nothing.


  1. I LOVE IT.... Never again am I gonna Drink Orange Gatorade.....LOl thanks for sharing these tips.... You rock.... Keep up the hard work and always find the JOY in the journey

    1. Love this!!! Find JOY in the journey.....

  2. LOL. "Be prepared for that moment when you realize that running is the WORST hobby ever and you just want to give up. " Haha. Love Love this list. Thank you for the Real tips for running a marathon. Doing my 1st one in a couple of months. Relying on lots of faith in motion. ;)