Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Top Ten Marathon Newbie Mistakes

As we enter September, some of us are entering the stretch run of our marathon training. To help those of you who are new to the sport, I’m going to list the top ten mistakes beginning runners make when prepping for a marathon. Some of these are from personal experience. Others are from lessons I’ve learned from other runners. This was inspired by a conversation I had over the weekend with a few friends who asked for my advice in helping them train for their first marathon. Hope you all find it if not useful, as least amusing. (Oh, and if you can come up with more, feel free to leave it in a comment!)

10. Trying to make up missed workouts by skipping rest days. Rest days during training are just as important as run days.
9. Running short on long runs and running long on short runs. Practice positive visualization. Consider it mental training.
8. Substantial running without substantial stretching. Always, always, always stretch before you run…always!
7. Not practicing hydration, or (the horror!) not hydrating at all, during runs. Drink plenty before, during, and after you run. Dehydration will not only kill your training, it can actually kill YOU.
6. Bringing the same number of gel packs for your 20-miler as for your 5-miler. The average runner needs one gel pack per hour of running. You do the math.
5. Disrespecting the taper. Stay focused and don’t let your legs dictate your pace during that last training month.
4. Playing tackle football with the guys the Sunday before your marathon. Avoid all high-risk, high-contact activities during your taper, unless you’d rather watch the marathon from the sidelines.
3. Not knowing the course before you run. You wouldn’t take a final without studying for it, so why start now.
2. Not knowing your race pace, or starting out too fast anyway. If you’ve never run a marathon before, the way you feel at mile 20 will be inversely proportional to your speed burst at mile 1, trust me.
And…1. Forgetting to have fun while you run. Remember that the marathon is our Super Bowl, runners. Savor the moments.


aham23 said...

you are education this noob on a daily basis. thank you. later.

Tom said...

Thanks for a great list. I've seen others like it, but you have some great insights, particularly the last one.

Keep up the great work!

Debbie said...

Good List!

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