Running a marathon requires at least three years of prior running experience
With a prize money in excess of $600,000 it is no wonder that the New York City Marathon draws more than 100,000 applicants. However, the substantial prize money isn’t always the primary impetus for participating.
“Too many people join charity teams and try to run a marathon in too little training time because they have no running background,” said Mike Dove, training director for the Big Sur International Marathon.
Crossing the New York City Marathon finish line may very well be one of the greatest achievements for a runner, but you must train. “We suggest at least three years of prior running experience and six months of specific marathon training for the first one,” said Dove.
Sarah Stanley, an avid runner, finds strength and literal endurance through running, “It is a healthy & positive way to deal with stress, tough times, and challenges. It gives me a chance to think.” Sarah recently completed a 100-mile goal, “my only thought was how can I get to the finish line. Not about giving up. I finished in 24 hours, 58 minutes. The 100-mile journey was not easy, but through my experience I was able to impact many lives.” Well done, Sarah.
Presumably, you are already well into your marathon training. Here are some marathon race day tips by marathoners that are practical “find out before hand what sports drink the marathon is using;” elementary, “wear an old race shirt as an extra layer;” and downright sensible; “rehearse everything.”
Marathon Race Day Tips from Marathoners:
Damien Casten – Wake up 30 minutes earlier than you think and drink a cup of coffee to get the bowels going before the race. This makes for a much more comfortable race and eliminates a bathroom stop during. The time seems small until you miss your target by 30 seconds.
Clayton Blackham – Race day isn’t the day for experimenting. Don’t do anything on race day that you didn’t do during training; food, fuel, shoes, pace, etc.
Laura E. Jakosky – When you return, lay on your back with your legs straight up at a 90-degree angle against the wall. Remain in that position for five to 15 minutes to drain your legs of lactic acid and other waste.
Patricia Raymond, M.D – If you want to feel sleek, aerodynamic and less bloated as your feet pound the pavement, do a test drive of the foods you are planning to eat and see how it affects your gut.
Mike Dove – Visualize yourself finishing successfully. Promote positive thoughts before and during your marathon.
Greg Friese – Wear an old race shirt as an extra layer. Drop it once you are warm at an aid station.
Michelle Montgomery – Plan to carry one or two more gels/snacks than you think you might need. (Even candy/sugar for the end.) Nothing is worse than finishing hungry.
Adam Melson – Practice eating while running. You’ll never know how your body reacts to GU & energy gels until you try it. Better to have an upset stomach during a practice run than on race day.
Patrick Ward – Use a dynamic warm up to get the hips moving, warm up the ankles, increase body temperature (break a little sweat), and get the joints and nervous system ready to work. Don’t just go out and start running cold. A proper warm up can be the deal breaker between having an injury free running season and being sidelined for the big race.
Jason Karp – Rehearse everything—shorts, socks, shoes, what you plan to carry on you, such as water, Gu packs, etc. Leave nothing to chance. Practice drinking water from a cup while running.
Blaine Moore – You should have a goal for your race, and you should have a plan to attain that goal. If you stick to the plan, then you will find it is much easier to deal with anything unforeseen that comes up. Not only that, but fewer obstacles will appear during your race than if you ignore or forget about your plan. Know what splits you want at different points in the race, and try to achieve them.
Keri Cawthorne – Stretch, stretch, stretch, and stretch some more.
Cellcom Green Bay Marathon – Wear some shorts that you know won’t chafe. If you’ve had problems with this issue, consider purchasing some anti-chafing cream for those private areas where you like keeping your skin. Also realize the phenomenon of “bleeding nipples.” This is especially a problem for men since they don’t wear sports bras (hopefully). Put a Band-Aid over each nipple before the race.
Steve Raquel - Find out before hand what sports drink the marathon is using and make sure to train with it the entire time.
Kimberly R. Carolan – For first timers, shoot for finishing. Worry about PRs as you get better.
Bruce Campbell – Don’t go too fast in the first half.
LaSara Firefox Allen – Find support for your goal – in your family, and with a training team, again either virtual or face-to-face, as possible.
Khadi Madama – Begin hydrating yourself the day before by sipping 10 oz of water, per hour. These instructions are standard medical advice for keeping the lungs clear of mucus.
Hafid Baakrime – Eat a complex carb meal, but not after 6-7 pm. Avoid fried foods.
Andrea Turner – Get a pre-event massage about two days before a race. Due to the constant micro-tears from training, you are likely to have less flexibility and at least one or two trouble spots where the muscles are locked in the ‘on’ position.”
Sarah Stanley – Placement. Get in the right corral. If you aren’t running a 3 hour marathon, don’t get in the first corral. Your bib number should tell you where you should start.