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Question: Can you give any advice to one who is going to run his first marathon?
Asked by asafonov (77.222.12.x) on October 10 2016, 7:51pm
Reply on October 10 2016, 8:37pm (edited at October 10 2016, 8:38pm):
    I'm no expert, but off of the top of my head:

    As general preparation:
    • Practice eating during the run, figure out what foods work well for you
    • Run a few long (17-20 mile) runs ~5 weeks, ~4 weeks, and ~3 weeks ahead. If you have to make them on the shorter side (17 or even 16 miles) you should be fine too, just don't hurt yourself
    • Taper down for the 3 weeks before, so that the week leading up to the marathon you run a few very short very easy runs only
    • Practice racing in general throughout the process, so you get used to drinking from water cups and so on

    Day of:
    • Get very hydrated before the race. It's hard to keep up with water intake during the race, so giving yourself the most water at the start to start is helpful. If you can stand it, I'd take a 1L (or so) bottle of water that you can drink throughout the first 6 or 7 miles, then toss.
    • Eat and drink (in small quantities) as much as possible throughout the race. You might not *need* to, but it makes things better. Don't overdo it, obviously, but finding a nice routine of intake is good.
    • Go out easy and keep it easy until the last couple of miles!

      Look around, enjoy yourself, listen to yourself and other people and the spectators and/or nature.

      The marathon IMO is a different experience than shorter races because you (well, I anyway) really have to take it easy most of the way. Running a half marathon, I can go out at a slightly uncomfortable pace and more or less keep it there for the first 10 miles (uncomfortable enough that it requires my concentration, but not so uncomfortable I couldn't talk), before getting very uncomfortable on the last 5k. On the marathon, though, you really have to just go chill the whole way (the difficultly comes without speeding up ha ha). I'm sure other people would disagree, they're probably faster than I am ;)

    I'm not running one this year, boo, this makes me all nostalgic.. Hopefully next year!
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