Over the years we’ve seen an increase in runners in the UK and we don’t expect 2012 to be any different. Thats why we want to dedicate this post to those who may be entering their first marathon this year. It can be a daunting prospect entering your first race however we’ve come up with our top 10 tips on what to expect before, during and after the race.
Before The Race…
- Many marathons and races offer a race package which includes things such as a bib, timing chip and T-shirt. Try to pick this up as soon as possible so that you don’t have to worry about getting it on the day. By doing so you can also make sure you get a T-shirt that fits rather than having to sift through the left over’s at the last minute.
- If you’re suspicious or simply want to avoid looking like a rookie, refrain from wearing the race T-shirt you receive in your race package. Instead wait until you finish the race.
- Try to get to the race early to ensure you get a parking spot, have time to check you have everything in your bag, use the toilet (there can be long queues) and warm up your body ready for the race.
- Try not to over dress for the occasion. Remember you will be much warmer when you’re running, so piling on the layers before the race isn’t the best idea. On average it will be 15 degrees warmer when you start running so dress appropriately for this temperature whilst running. You can always wear an extra layer before and after the race.
- Ensure you eat a good well balanced meal prior to the race that in high in carbohydrates but low in fat, fibre and protein. Try to eat this at least 1 hour before the race and try not to consume anything high in fat and fat as this may cause discomfort and sluggishness.
During the Race…
- Ensure you attach your bib on the front of your shirt rather than the back. This is crucial as it lets officials know that you’re part of the race and will allow any photographers on the course to identify your race photos. Make sure the bib is visible and that you safety pin all four corners to keep it in place.7
- Don’t attempt to get right to the front of the starting line unless you are an experienced marathon runner – faster runners don’t like to weave in and out of less experienced runners. Instead try and find your space with runners with your speed and level of experience – you will soon find your spot once the race has begun.
- Ensure you keep yourself well hydrated by taking advantage of the water stops on the course and volunteers handing out water throughout the race.
The Finishing Line!
- Don’t pressure yourself to finish the race in a fast time or to beat the person next to you in your first marathon. Instead enjoy finishing the race a pace that suites you and aim to have a great experience rather than worry about times.
- Invite friends and family to support you in the race and cheer you on when you reach the finishing line!