MARATHON ! HELP! DEAD-MEAT ! CARDIAC ARREST ! DIE !
If these are your first thoughts as the marathon date approaches, then fear not as its your first time and that’s totally understandable. Be it your first half marathon or a full marathon.
However what can significantly help to get you prepared is mentally having a list of do’s and don’ts to serve as a guide. Half the battle is won when the mind is prepared as what a marathon usually entails. Set realistic expectations and don’t forget to have fun.
These are the essential DO’s
#1 Stay Fueled – hydrated and full
Running requires you to have sufficient energy as the body will be burning whatever you’ve consumed before and on the day of the run. Most think that eating before a run makes you heavy or sluggish and that isn’t the case as your body needs the energy especially if its a full marathon or if its your first time. Foods to consume would be such as bananas,oats,breads (think whole-grains) and even the energy drink Gatorade perhaps. One way to be certain as to how much your body requires is trying out different foods as you go for your run practices.
#2 Comfy Feet equals happy runner
Do own the right pair,the fitting pair if you must. The last thing you want to do is buy a new pair of shoes just for the run and breaking into them on the first day of the run isn’t a good idea. Be prepared to expect a saw foot and blisters if you do so. Wear proper comfy running shoes (your favorite pair), something which isn’t worn out either. You want your feet to be familiar with what it has on and comfort of course.
#3 Do practice your route.
Start in advance. get a head-start basically, at least two months before would be best. How does your body know how far you can go if you don’t test it out and push it. Try with baby steps of course, first week maybe two or three km and work your way up. Go according to your own pace.
#4 Stay motivated and positive.
Having positive thoughts will somewhat keep you calm. Mantras perhaps? Whatever floats your boat. Most would have a rocking playlist for those miles to keep you going. Yes, the power of a song goes a long long way as your adrenaline is pumping and your out of breathe speeding through that last mile.
#5 End on a high note.
Finish off with a bang, as you get close to the finishing line think of how slow-witted Forrest Gump pushed himself and ran that day in the woods, that’s what you got to do push yourself to cross that finish line. Just do it, literally.
And now for the DON’TS
#1 Do Not Over Accessorize
Prioritize! Know what you need and which are the essentials of course. The last thing you want is a bunch of unnecessary stuff to cart as you attempt a sprint.
#2 Time goal?Don’t Bother if it’s you’re first.
As a first timer the only goal you ought to have is completion of course, *coughs* in one piece that is. I’m pretty certain we all have that one friend who has a strict time goal to achieve, you too can crush that when you are more seasoned.
#3 Do not panic. Think soothing thoughts
As your struggling to catch your breath and think that’s it I can’t go any further and I shall just collapse right here and be done with it, calm yourself down and take a few deep breaths. Repeat if you must before proceeding.
#4 Gungho time or not. Is it called for?
Many seasoned marathon runners advise not to go all out in the beginning. The whole flying and blazing in the beginning isn’t going to help. That’s not how you do a marathon. If you can’t keep the momentum going then its advisable to maintain a certain pace that you can stick to and are comfortable with.
#5 Don’t forget to smile at the finishing line. *SAY CHEESE*
Am I serious? te-hehe. Well why not? Be proud of what you’ve accomplished. Have your biggest and brightest smile once you pass the finishing line.
With the Do’s and Don’ts in. Go forth and have a great run all you first timers out there. Research up as much as you need beforehand. For those going for the Standard Chartered run this Sunday! Good-luck!