7 Things to Know Before Running Your First Marathon

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By Shanelle Kaul

1. Don’t drink everything in sight. Those volunteers holding tiny dentist cups of Gatorade seem like angels from above when you are parched and sweaty, but resist temptation. While hydration is important, being bloated is the least fun state to complete a run in. The trick is to drink lots of water the day before and be selective about intake on the day of. It will amaze you how long your body can sustain itself for.

2. Stick to your plan. Run the way you trained — whether that’s eating gels every 45 mins or a banana halfway through, avoid introducing anything new on the day of.

3. Accept the fact that if you are a first-timer who drank too much wine and ran too few kilometers in the months leading up, you will inevitably reach a point at which you’d rather fold over and shrivel up under the Tuscan sun then run another step. And that’s absolutely OK. You are, after all, human.

4. That point will likely arrive sometime near the 35k mark. Know that it usually hurts less to continue running than to stop and walk. So just. Keep. Going. This isn’t supposed to be easy.

5. The bunnies are your friends — the Running Room bunnies, that is. Look out for them to find out if you’re on track to finishing at your planned time, if that’s a priority.

6. High five everyone you pass. Read every hilarious sign planted in the grass on course. Staying positive is vital, so constantly repeat good thoughts.

7. On that note, smile lots! You do want to look like a boss crossing that finish line, right? Of course you do. Shoulders back, chin up, and Bob’s your uncle.

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