Aside from these tips for running your first marathon, try these suggestions from people who’ve joined (and survived) multiple marathons. They heard these tips from other runners, or were given the secrets from running coaches. Now, these nuggets of wisdom are all yours for the taking. These can help you improve your marathon time, and help you run your best, mile after mile.
Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink
When running at a high pace for a long time (which is what happens when you want to improve your running time) you need to keep your blood flowing properly. The secret to do this is to drink early. The fluids will ensure efficient circulation and maintain the right body temperature. However, running at a high pace also interferes with your body’s ability to absorb fluids. It takes longer to hydrate. So, drink early on, so that the fluid kicks in in the last, most difficult mile.
Consider carbo gels
Gels are the most efficient and concentrated form of carbohydrates. They can deliver this energy much faster than sports drink and energy bars. The ideal rate is to absorb 60 grams of carbohydrates an hour
Run behind someone
Basically you take advantage of the draft effect. In the spirit of sportsmanship, though, don’t follow too closely or offer to run ahead sometimes so the other can take advantage of your draft effect too.
Don’t run very hard uphill
The secret to a good marathon time is to maximize energy. You don’t get much results from charging up those hills. Save those spurts for the flat areas where you can gain significant ground.
Rest the day before
Conserve energy. Watch TV, laze around, and give your muscles a chance to heal and rest before the grueling day.
Don’t carbo load, carbo graze
It’s more efficient to take small amounts of carbs several times in the day.
Bring extra outfits
You never know what the weather will be like during the marathon. So bring extra suits so you can shift to something else right before you run.
Research on previous race results
It pays off to understand the course. What areas did people have difficulty with? What areas can you gain significant ground? Use the Internet to look at the blogs or interviews with marathon runners. This information can boost your confidence (especially if it’s your first time to run that particular marathon) and help you make critical decisions on where to do your fast sprints.
Photo from srcevents.com