Before reading this article I must note that this is not my experience. This is another author that wrote this article from her viewpoint. I’m summarizing this because I think it is a great insight into the mind of a runner and advice that I can’t give personally. We can train all we want but until we are in a race or a competition there are so many things that we have been ignorant to or just couldn’t anticipate. Here are 10 mistakes that can be encountered during a marathon the author experienced.
1. Not enough training at goal race pace. You always hear the term “practice like you play.” This is so true for preparing for a race. Your body will adapt to the extra speed you’ve trained at during your training. Your breathing and heart rate will also be trained enough to handle the extra speed as well.
2. Not enough recovery and too much stress. Recovery should be just as important as your training. Letting your training catch up to you as well as your normal everyday stress can lead to your performance being sacrifices.
3. Pacing mistakes. Running too fast during the first half of a marathon will come back to bite you in the end. Slow and steady wins the race. Keep in mind that if you want to say you ran a marathon, you have to FINISH said marathon. Keep a consistent pace and don’t come out of the gate too hot.
4. Mid-race hydration. Make sure you drink the proper amount during the race. Don’t over-hydrate and pay for it later but don’t get dehydrated as you run the risk of not even finishing.
5. Know the course. Know where the hills are and where the challenging parts of the course are. If you know the course before, you can plan out your training.
6. Speeding ahead of my pace group too soon. When in a race it is easy for the increased adrenaline to fuel some bad decisions. Pacing yourself with your group can help push yourself to better times.
7. Doing an interval session a few days before the race. A recover run is great but make sure it’s just that; a recovery. Don’t pace it too fast and not too close to the race either.
8. Confidence. You must trust yourself and your training. Negative thoughts may pop into your head such as injuries, illness, or just negative self-talk. Sometimes we just have to ignore ourselves. Have fun the day of the race!
9. Nutrition. Make sure you have eaten enough so that you don’t deplete your glycogen stores too quickly and replenish what you lost. This can make the difference when you cross the finish line.
10. Pre-race activities. Chances are your race will be in a big city. Save the sightseeing for after the race and don’t tire yourself the day before.
Author: Sean Willitts is an ACE certified personal trainer. He graduated from Kutztown University in 2015 with a bachelor’s is sport management and a minor in fitness. Including training at Body Elite, he is also a record holding powerlifter. He uses his practical experience and knowledge to help his clients achieve their strength and fitness goals.
pc: Quino Al @equinoal