What you Need to Know About the Final 4 Weeks Before your First Marathon
Training for your first marathon is a huge accomplishment! Forget the actual race, completing 12, 16 or 20 weeks of training is where the real dedication comes in. Stepping up to the starting line of your first marathon is a feat that should be celebrated.
Sometimes however, making it there poses a bit of a problem. The final few weeks can be filled with unknowns and unforeseen obstacles your training plan may not have addressed.
That’s where we’d like to help!
When I was training for my first marathon, the closer to race day I got, the more I realized what I didn’t know. I had a solid training cycle, but other things started popping up I hadn’t thought about.
How do I fuel? How do I get my bib? What do I do when I finish?
I didn’t have answers to these questions. In fact, I didn’t even think about what I was going to eat the night before the big race until it was too late. I settled for an oily plate of non-runner-friendly fettuccine Alfredo.
Helping you Complete your First Marathon
In the build up to the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, we’re hosting a four week series helping you navigate these unexpected questions. We’re not coaches, just two experienced marathoners who have learned a few things – sometimes the hard way. You’ll get a chance to ask us a bunch of questions (and maybe a few you didn’t know you should be asking).
Myself and fellow runner/blogger Jessie Benson from Right Fits Running will guide you through what we think are the four most important elements remaining in your training.
We will be hosting a live Google hangout for the next four Thursday nights at 9:00 pm CST. The dates are September 11, 18, 25 and October 2. You can join us live and ask questions, or watch the replay at your convenience. To get updates specifically related to this, signup here!
What we’ll be Covering
Week 1 – Fueling for a Great Race
What’s your fueling strategy? Before, during and after the race. By now you’ve done several long runs, and hopefully have a good idea about what sits well and what doesn’t when you are running.
We’ll talk about what we’ve found helpful, and what to avoid. Every runner is different and finding what works for you is key.
Week 2 – Race Day Gear
What will you race in? Do you have non-chafing, technical fabrics that you’ve tested during training? Also, It would seem fall marathons rarely have consistent weather. They can be hot, cold, rainy, windy, etc. We have a few tips to help you navigate the unpredictability of ever changing weather patterns.
Week 3 – Race Strategy, Starting with your Taper
The final 10 – 14 days of your training should be devoted to tapering. This is all about resting up for the big day. Don’t do anything crazy, and don’t try to make up for lost time. It’s all about resting, hydrating and thinking through your race day plan.
Having a race day plan is one thing many first time marathoners overlook. From how you’re getting to the starting line, to what you’ll pack in your check bag, to your actual race pace plan.
We’ll share what we’ve learned and help you relax going into these final days.
Week 4 – The Race Expo and Your Post Race Recovery Strategy
Going to the marathon expo is a fun and exciting part of running your first marathon. With hundreds of vendors selling all sorts of running gear, it can be tempting to turn this into an all day affair.
We can give a few tips about how to get the most out of this event, without hurting your race day performance.
In week four, we will also talk about the post marathon blues. Even experienced marathoners can feel let down after a marathon. Regardless of your performance, you may feel lost since your life calendar isn’t being driven by your running schedule. Not to worry!
About the Hosts
Jessie blogs at The Right Fits, a blog primarily dedicated to running and fitness in and around the Twin Cities. She’s also documenting her quest to complete a marathon in all 50 states. To date, she has completed 16 marathons in 13 different states and 2 countries (USA and Germany).
I (Nathan) have been running since my freshman year of high school back in the mid-90’s. I will be running my fifth marathon this fall, and have run over 25 half marathons in the past 8 years.
What first marathon questions do you have?
If you are running your first marathon this fall, send us a question, or leave a comment below. We’ll be happy to answer it, and we might use it during the show!