I wish I’d known these before the first marathon…

We all have been there, the race which wasn’t going as it was planned. Some point every runner experience the bad race, but they are good for learning. There are many things which, can be overwhelming especially for new runners. Many of us might run our first race, without much knowledge and preparation. I did that too, so here are some things which I wish I had known before the first marathon, and points which many runners had said.


It’s quite easy to start run and some point decides to take part a marathon. And, of course without proper preparation. Many runners, take online program or coach to help them, which is a good sign, as long as the online program is realistic and good for you. Rest of the runners, go without any planning. Sometimes it works, but often not so great.

For the first-timers, find out about training cycle, how much you should do certain aspects, base training, speed endurance and so on. Also, preparation for the race, how to taper, what it’s included and how long it should last.


This goes slightly the same category as the last one. Learn early enough what kind of exercises you need to do. Set right paces for the exercises, be realistic. It’s easy to do too much interval training and other speed training, without a proper base. Also, runners often tend to do their exercises way too fast pace, the majority of the runs are performed easy pace.

energy intake during the marathon

This is one of the biggest things that many new and experienced runners fail. Make a plan for the marathon and test it. Trust me, it makes a major change. Runners either drink too little and don’t consume enough energy during the marathon, which leads early burn-out and pace drop towards to the end. Or others drink plenty of water and sports drinks every drink station and take energy gels, bananas and so on, because you burn so many calories anyway, right? Well yes, you need a lot of energy, but there are limits how much body can consume energy while running if that amount exceeded stomach cramps and other problems will follow.

Mental training

Running a marathon need a strong mind. It’s recommended to do mental training not only before the marathon but also before every exercise. When you prepare your mind for the race and exercises you prepare your body the handle the physical and psychological stress much better.

Strength training

Strength training can make a huge difference in running. It doesn’t mean building the big muscles, but strengthening the muscles can help to maintain good running posture. It can also help with endurance and speed endurance. People often divide in two, they either do strength training or not. Some don’t keep it important enough or they don’t like that type of training, but you don’t still skip certain running exercises just because you don’t like them. Think strength training part of the running.


It’s easy to get enthusiastic and run too much too soon. Recovery is the key to progress. Also recovering after a marathon is important, too busy race calendar can lead to injuries and burn-out. Recovering after the marathon doesn’t mean sleeping and laying down a couple of weeks, include a walk and short easy jogging, as they speed up metabolism and help with recovery.

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