As most of you know I ran my first marathon in Paris on the 9th April 2017. It didn’t go to plan and these are the reasons why
- Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate.
Yes there is a point where you can drink too much water, but that should not put you off drinking enough water before and during the race. I have read articles and spoken to people saying that more people die from drinking too much water than too little. I don’t know the facts so I cant comment but when I was running the marathon I saw a hell of a lot of people struggling, including myself, due to the lack of hydration. The next time I run I am definitely going to drink more before the race. I would much rather waste 2 minutes going for a pee in the bushes than compromise my running and nearly pass out.
2. Eat a good breakfast
Understandably I was extremely nervous before the race and the last thing I wanted to do at 6am was eat. I forced down a couple slices of toast with marmalade and that was it. I don’t know why on earth I thought that would be enough to fuel me for 26.2 miles. What I should have done was have my porridge and honey like I have every morning. My body is used to it and it would have provided me with sufficient energy for the race.
3. Dress for the weather
Unfortunately I didn’t check the forecast early enough to get a light weight top from Teenage Cancer Trust. Well it arrived on the Saturday but I was already in Paris. SO, running a marathon in a short sleeve T-shirt built for the windy, rainy, winter in England was not fun. Paris was around 27 degrees that day. HOT, HOT, HOT, especially for a Yorkshire lad.
4. Take a belt
Not your usual belt but one you can store snacks and bottles of water in. Yes there are water stations but trust me there is nothing worse than needing a drink and knowing you can’t have one until you’ve ran 5km. Well they said water stops were every 5km but I still don’t believe them. Ps shout out to the absolute hero who gave me and my friend his energy drink when we were begging people for water.
5. Enjoy yourself
Its hard not to get worked up about the occasion. The night before and the morning of the race I was a wreck. BUT, at the start line and during the race I loved it. The crowd and fellow runners create an electric atmosphere. You will have done enough training so just relax and try and enjoy it.
To be honest there are lots of other things I would have changed but the main point is that I’ve completed it and I have learnt from my mistakes. Im sure there will be many marathons to come and more lessons learnt but these are the few I’ve picked up already. Can’t quite get my head round the next marathon i will be doing will be after a 2.4 mile swim and a 112 mile bike ride…