This Run Lift Mom Podcast Episode is for running your first marathon; advice and reflection are offered 18 years after my own. I’ve since earned over 60 marathon finish lines. Enjoy!
Why did I revisit this recap?
A lot of people are goal setting with a marathon in their line of vision. Having run over 60 marathons in 47 different states, I have been blessed to be a resource for those folks. It made me think back to my first experience. What would I do differently?
The answer? Nothing.
When you do it right the first time
Hear me when I say I typically do not get things right the first go round. For my first marathon, though? I nailed it.
I didn’t run an impressive time (in fact, the race personnel was picking up the cones that mark the course about a quarter mile behind us for the last 5K!).
So why did I nail it?
I documented my experience, did it with a friend, and hit all the key runs in my training.
These days, you can document your training on everything from Instagram to a blog. It wasn’t so back in 2003. In fact, I was one of the first in my running group to house a blog (previously at a different address) for my race recaps.
Take advantage of the easy access to what will eventually become your running journal. How cool is it that I can share this with my kids when I’m gray and my memory is gone?!
Do it with a friend
I ran with my friend Amanda, which seemed like the easier thing to do at the time (I find it harder to quit on others than myself!) but it was also the smartest.
Research correlates exercising with others to longevity in a healthy routine. This a fact.
So, what do we do with this intel?
Find a friend or running group to train for your first marathon with! Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) has a great search engine for community running groups, many of them nonprofit. You can also look at groups like Team in Training if you are into fundraising and want to benefit from an in person coaching group.
Pssst- if you have fundraising goals, don’t miss my episode about Fundraising for Races in a Crowded Space.
Do your key runs
Do what your training schedule says, even when you don’t feel like it
That’s my best advice for first time marathoners. If you’re familiar with my Minimum Effective Dose plans, you are probably surprised to hear me say that since so many general plans include a 20 miler.
If you’re running your first marathon, you need the 20 miler.
You just do. It’s not great for your body (understatement!), but you need it mentally for morale.