Wednesday, 16 May 2012

So tell me....

I know, I've been a terrible tweeter and blogger these last few months. Work and general exhaustion have been getting in the way, but I'm going to try my best to make sure I stay connected with the amazing Twitter Running Crew.

So I'm back....and looking for advice!

All of a sudden, it's less than two weeks until I run my very first marathon in Edinburgh. I'm a little bit nervous as it will be the first time I've ever run more than 20 miles, but I'm excited to just soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the experience! 

I keep thinking, though--there must be little tricks of the trade or important things that just haven't crossed my mind. Random thoughts keep going through my head: what about fueling, hydration, how do carry all my gels, do I need to worry about chaffing, what to do if I need to pee (or worse) and there's no toilet, what if I get a blister, what if it rains....? Things that are bound to happen that will make be think...why didn't I think of that?!

So what I would like to know is......

What's the ONE thing you wish you knew before you ran your first marathon?

Yes, that's right....the ONE thing. Please share your running wisdom by commenting below or sending me a tweet @diminutiverunr. I'll summarize and share all the advice next week before I head to Edinburgh.

All advice welcome and nothing is trivial!



  1. ok here we go:
    carbload, from Thu morning before the race you need to start carbload, 8 to 10g per kg of bodyweight of carbs daily, there is an app called mynetdiary that helps your count calories, carbs, protein, etc, etc. It is not the time to eat heathly so leave fruit and veg out those days and food rich in fibre. To store carbs you need water, so keep a good fluid intake. Hope you have a good race day day strategy and that you planned it on your long runs already. If you get carbload + race day nutrition right you won't hit the wall, as simple as that. (wish i knew this before my 1st)
    good food examples, rice pudding, porridge, muesli, rice, pasta, honey, cinammon bagels, white bread, sultanas, raisins, dried apricots, sports drink, etc. make sure you up you salt intake a little as well to try avoiding cramps. make sure you pre race breakfast is finished with 3 hours before the race starts.
    Try having a number 2 before you leave the hotel and pack wet wipes on your bag, portable toilet may not be that clean or have enough loo paper. Trying weeing as much as possible before it starts, i've never needed to wee during a marathon but wouldn't mind doing it on my pants if needed (done that on long triathlons, kkkk)
    never wear new kit or shoes and try and test them before the race, ideally you have done a 20miler on you marathon shoes.
    pack extra socks, you never know if they get dirty.
    Sleep well as week before the race.
    When the going gets tough, keep smiling, it helps.

    1. You're the best, Coach! Thanks so much for your support and advice! My race plan is to just stay relaxed and steady! And try to enjoy it! :)

  2. Excellent advice from Rodrigo and some I'll definitely be taking on-board. Can't say any better than that! :)

    1. LOL but you can tell me the one thing you wish you knew after Windermere! I am so excited for you and can't wait to hear all about it!

  3. I tweeted you to say don't aim for a time, just aim to finish!

    Also though, try and enjoy it - it will be easy to at first, but towards the latter stages you may have some dark moments. Think of why you love running, and let the crowds give you a lift :) (Oh and +1 for what Rodrigo said!!!!)

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment! I originally did have a time in mind...but after my training didn't go quite to plan I am just hoping to survive! :)

      I will be so happy when I cross the line, no matter how long it takes!

  4. Great advice so far. The salt or Scaps was the one I wish I'd known about both before and during the marathon. I used to get cramps all the time and haven't since I started that.

    I also learned for myself that it's better for me to have my big carbo load "dinner" for lunch the day before instead. You have to find what works for you though.

    Also, I try and make sure I sleep really well the couple nights before the night before since I know I may not sleep much that night.

    And after...keep walking and moving. It really helps keep you from stiffening up.

    You're going to have a blast! And do awesome. I know it. :)

    1. Thanks for all the advice and support, Lisa! You were one of the runners that inspired me to try a marathon in the first place!

  5. Tip 1: Try to enjoy every step not to try too hard for a fast time - whatever time you run will be a PB, and you can always go faster in future if you want to, but you can never repeat the experience of your first marathon.

    Tip 2: Go off slower than you want to and if the first few miles feel the right pace, it's not slow enough, if it feels slow, it still probably isn't slow enough.

    Tip 3: Wear a vest with your name on the front, then the crowd will call your name out as you pass. I ran with Simon (@mazymixer) and it was like being with a celebrity as all the crowd called out to him. Ideally, become a woman, preferably named Katy, then you'll get even more attention from the crowd as you pass.

    Tip 4: refer to tip 1 - enjoy it, wave to the crowd if you can, smile and you'll have the time of your life.

    All the best, I'm sure you'll do great.

  6. Thank you for taking the time to share all these tips! Slow is my middle name, so hopefully I won't get too caught up in all of the people around me.

    I think I need to find an old vest to scribble my name on....