first marathon tips

Ultimate Guide to Running Your First Marathon

Ultimate Guide to Running Your First Marathon

Running your first marathon is thrilling, nerve wrecking, tough, and simply amazing all in one 26.2 mile wide bundle.  When you cross that finish line and get wrapped in the foil blanket, the rush of emotions will hit you; you did it… you ran your first marathon, an accomplishment that comes once in a lifetime.

But, of course running your first marathon is not an one day endeavor, there are months of  mental and physical preparation.  A few days ago, I shared What Nobody Tells You About Training For A Marathon and now I want so share with you tips on training for and running your first marathon.

colby triolo marathon

Me, after my first marathon

The Ultimate Guide to Your First Marathon:

Tips on Training for Your First Marathon:

Build a killer playlist.

Use the 16-20 weeks that you are training to build a playlist that will motivate you on race day.  The last thing you want is to be throwing random songs together the night before your big day.  Aim for 4-5 hours of music.

Here is my playlist , feel free to do with it as you please.

Long runs are the most important.

Treat your long run days like you would treat your marathon day.  This means fueling for it the same way, and treating it mentally the same.  I suggest trying to do your run around the same time it will be on race day.  Also, keep in mind that your long training runs will be the most important, if you can’t do all of your runs for the given week, prioritize your long ones.  Check out some tips on getting through long runs.

BONUS: Tips on Running Strong In the Rain

Don’t give up everything.run

Training for a marathon should add to your life, it should not take away from it.   Yes your training is incredibly important, but do not put your life on hold.  Don’t say ‘no’ to all the opportunities with family and friends.  Don’t cancel plans the entire day after a longer run because you want your legs to recover. Yes, it is important to recover, but it is also important to live your life.  

Strength training is important, too.

I do not want you to head over to the gym and knock out a PR on your squat, but I do want you to keep in mind how important it is to strengthen your muscles.  Not only does strengthening assist in keeping your stride balanced, but it reduces the risk of many injuries. Exercises like planks, squat and press, and back extensions work the muscles that keep you balanced while running.  Start with these exercises.

It will be tough, but you are tougher.

You signed up for this race, somewhere inside you, even if deep down, you knew that you could do it, and you can.  When training runs get tough, think about that feeling you are going to have when you cross the finish line.

First Marathon Race Day Tips:

Have a mantra.

“You Make You” , “All walls have doors”, “Think strong, be strong, finish strong”.. here is a great list of mantras.  When you hit the wall, when miles get tough, having a mantra will help you through.

Take out your headphones.

If you are running with headphones on race day, take them out for a bit.  Trust me, I am all for that killer playlist, but hearing people you don’t even know cheering you on, and chatting with other runners is all a part of the experience. For me when I was struggling at certain miles, taking my headphones out and listening to the cheers helped me a ton.

no-headphones

Nothing new on race day.

This is where I went wrong.  Do not, I repeat, do not, try anything new on race day.  All the way from what you eat for breakfast, to what kind of underwear you wear.  For me, I took Sudafed because I had a cold, which kindly left me extremely dizzy for 18 miles.  Don’t do it!

Remember your training.

You trained for this, you got this.  Stick to your training and you will finish strong.  It is most important to keep this in mind the first few miles of the race; you will have adrenaline and want to start off fast, but do everything in your power to start off like you would during a training run, you can always speed up later.

starting-line

Have fun with it.

This is your first marathon, an experience and memory you will have for the rest of your life, make it a good one! Cheer along with the fans, take the brownies when they are throwing them from the sidelines, read the posters people are holding up, smile, laugh… enjoy it.  And remember, you are in this first marathon to complete the 26.2 miles, speed does not have to be on your mind, just accomplish the distance.

Pin this for later: 

first-marathon-tips


Now, I want to hear from you- Have you run a marathon? If so, what is your biggest first timer tip?  If not, where would you want to run your first marathon?

& remember, you make you

   ymycolby

PS: Have you signed up for my 10 DAY HOLIDAY BURN WORKOUT CHALLENGE? IT’S FREE!

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What Nobody Tells You About Training For a Marathon

What Nobody Tells You About Training For a Marathon

Marathon Training Tips

Yesterday, I ran my first marathon!  To be completely honest, as weird as is it, I enjoyed the marathon training 10x more than the actual marathon.  With the combination of the freezing temperature, and 30mph winds it was t.o.u.g.h.  I also am fighting a cold so I had taken Sudafed before running which left me feeling awfully dizzy at some (OK most) miles (note: don’t ever do that!!) Despite the unplanned resistance training (credz to @h3ath3rf3ath3r for the term) and my body not cooperating, I am beyond happy for the experience and beyond glad I did it! And I would  be amiss if I didn’t mention how blessed I am to have met so many amazing, like-minded individuals… peep Heather and Caroline!

I can truly say that I have grown to love the sport of running and this definitely won’t be my last marathon.  Congratulations to all the runners of the Philly Marathon, especially my friends Ron, Heather, Asja, Ross, Heather, and Caroline!

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Now, since I am sure you don’t want a full mile by mile recap and since I spent mile 8-18 thinking about this yesterday, here are a few things that nobody tells you about marathon training.

PREPARING FOR A MARATHON:

It hurts. It hurts in weird ways.  Parts of your body that you didn’t even know existed will hurt.  You may even get a sexy sports bra rash. But, that’s OK, if it didn’t hurt, you would be a super human.

picture not appropro –> chest completely torn up from sports bra

There will come days, where you will have to hop on a treadmill and run massive amounts of miles.  When I left school to work for a weekend in Baltimore, I ran 15 miles on a treadmill, watched the news loop 3 full times, and had to restart the treadmill 4 times.  It will be rough.  But, when you are done you will feel like you can conquer anything, and you CAN.

On the same note, there will be days that you have to  wake up or go to bed at ungodly hours in order to get your miles in.  But, that’s the price we are willing to pay.  You’re whole body and soul needs to be in it.change

Life doesn’t put itself on hold.  Yeah, maybe you ran 18 miles that morning, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to go to school, or work, and be on your feet all day. But, that’s OK, running a marathon is meant to add to your life, not take away.

You will know everything there is to know about your area, and all the ~cool~ trails, roads, and sites there are to see.run

The second day is the worst.  Sure, you may be sore and tired after that long run, but the next day…. that’s when it gets ya. Beware of ~the steps~.  But that’s OK, sore means you pushed yourself.

Your phone, or your ipod, will most likely die at one point when you need it most. But, that is also when you will grow the most. There is something beautiful in being so immersed in  the world.

The hunger is real. When you rev your metabolism that hard that frequently, you’re going to be hungry, ravenous maybe.  It’s kind of a struggle but at the same time wonderful  because you earned all that good food.

There is a point when the issue isn’t your cardiovascular system being tired, but your mind being tired. You will experience some of the mentally toughest hours you ever have, but nothing worth having comes easy.  I wrote an article on how to get through those tough long runs if you are interested.

There are times you are going to want to cry and times that you are going to be on top of the world. It is a roller coaster, but one worth waiting in line for.

running_rain

But, this is all OK, it is not meant to be easy.  It is meant to change you and to challenge you.  It is meant to give you a new perspective on life and your body. 

This is all OK, because the moment you cross that finish line will be one of the best moments of your entire life, and NOTHING can take that away from you.

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YOU MAKE YOU xoox,

Colby

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