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What NOT to do for your first marathon

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What NOT to do for your first marathon

Post  ounce on Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:32 pm

With Stephanie's thread on taper length for a first marathon, Chris' reply motivated me to start this thread on what not to do for your first marathon. I'm sure we can come up with a few and hopefully, it will be a keeper thread for those that stumble on to this board.

I'll start.

Do NOT have a time goal in mind. Finishing is good enough for the first.
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Re: What NOT to do for your first marathon

Post  Mike MacLellan on Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:48 pm

Do not run all your miles at MP.

I ran every single mile - okay, not my warm-up miles, but I TRIED - at 8:00 or faster while training for my first marathon. I was only running 3 days a week and was injured for 2-3 weeks when I was supposed to be peaking. I still finished under my goal time (3:30), but it wasn't exactly fun.
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Re: What NOT to do for your first marathon

Post  Mike MacLellan on Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:53 pm

On a similar note, don't try to run a marathon on 3 days/week. I'd recommend no fewer than 4, with 5 being ideal. Yes, it's possible to do 3, but again, it's not going to be fun.
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Re: What NOT to do for your first marathon

Post  Mark B on Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:32 pm

Do NOT wear a brand-new shoe on race day, or even one that's fairly new unless you've done at least one 20-miler in them. Some blister-causing manufacturing/design defects don't show up until well beyond the half marathon mark.
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Re: What NOT to do for your first marathon

Post  Dave Bussard on Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:32 pm

Never forget.... 20 miles is halfway!
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Re: What NOT to do for your first marathon

Post  Mike MacLellan on Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:43 pm

@Dave Bussard wrote:Never forget.... 20 miles is halfway!

And 13 is a quarter or third.
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Re: What NOT to do for your first marathon

Post  Chris M on Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:04 pm

Have a reasonable and achievable race day pace plan and do not modify it to go faster in the race itself but feel free to adjust on the fly and go slower if you are not feeling it. Finishing knowing you had more in the tank will have you more revved up for marathon #2 than the crash and burn I did for my 1st which involved more walking than running over the final 10k. But sometimes you gotta learn the hard way so if you like your marathons served up humbling, feel free to ignore said advice.
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Re: What NOT to do for your first marathon

Post  wrichman on Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:36 am

don't puke.
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Re: What NOT to do for your first marathon

Post  Michael Enright on Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:13 am

@wrichman wrote:don't puke.

If you do puke, don't puke on anybody else.
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Re: What NOT to do for your first marathon

Post  Dave Wolfe on Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:05 am

@Chris M wrote:Have a reasonable and achievable race day pace plan and do not modify it to go faster in the race itself but feel free to adjust on the fly and go slower if you are not feeling it. Finishing knowing you had more in the tank will have you more revved up for marathon #2 than the crash and burn I did for my 1st which involved more walking than running over the final 10k. But sometimes you gotta learn the hard way so if you like your marathons served up humbling, feel free to ignore said advice.

Along those lines my dad says -- "Start slow finish slower." Good advice Chris. You get what you train for.
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Re: What NOT to do for your first marathon

Post  carleenp on Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:09 pm

@Mark B wrote:Do NOT wear a brand-new shoe on race day, or even one that's fairly new unless you've done at least one 20-miler in them. Some blister-causing manufacturing/design defects don't show up until well beyond the half marathon mark.

Adding to this, don't wear or do anything new at all on race day. Test everything from clothing and shoes to GU and drink during long runs. I know this rule well, yet broke it once to wear new arm warmers during a race that ended up colder than expected. The result was some really nasty and painful chaffing!!!
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Re: What NOT to do for your first marathon

Post  Mark B on Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:12 pm

@Michael Enright wrote:
@wrichman wrote:don't puke.

If you do puke, don't puke on anybody else.

And try to miss your shoes.
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Re: What NOT to do for your first marathon

Post  fostever on Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:19 pm

Don't down an energy drink in the start corral giving you a stitch in the first mile.Embarassed
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Re: What NOT to do for your first marathon

Post  Glenn on Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:24 pm

Thanks. Just read all of these to my wife, who's running her first next week at Napa (I will be on Sherpa duty).
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Re: What NOT to do for your first marathon

Post  Dave-O on Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:26 pm

Don't be afraid to pee your pants.
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Re: What NOT to do for your first marathon

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:55 pm

@Dave-O wrote:Don't be afraid to pee your pants.

LOL

Just have a good time - not a good clock time.
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Re: What NOT to do for your first marathon

Post  mul21 on Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:02 pm

Don't leave auto lap on. It'll freak you out when your Garmin hits a mile and you haven't seen the marker yet. Hit it manually at each mile to get accurate splits.
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Re: What NOT to do for your first marathon

Post  dot520 on Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:09 pm

If you go to a new location for the race, don't spend the day before siteseeing. Portland was my first Marathon and Gene wanted to spend the day before hiking around and climbing stairs looking at assorted peaks. Yep...that was a mistake. Do the siteseeing the day after when you could stand to work out the sore muscle.
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Re: What NOT to do for your first marathon

Post  Stephanie on Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:56 am

@ounce wrote:With Stephanie's thread on taper length for a first marathon, Chris' reply motivated me to start this thread on what not to do for your first marathon. I'm sure we can come up with a few and hopefully, it will be a keeper thread for those that stumble on to this board.

I'll start.

Do NOT have a time goal in mind. Finishing is good enough for the first.

WHAT AN AWESOME THREAD!!! I appreciate you starting this and everyone's tips!! This thread is a keeper for sure!! Thanks everyone!!
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Re: What NOT to do for your first marathon

Post  JohnP on Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:15 am

@Mark B wrote:Do NOT wear a brand-new shoe on race day, or even one that's fairly new unless you've done at least one 20-miler in them. Some blister-causing manufacturing/design defects don't show up until well beyond the half marathon mark.

Mark, I have to say, I wear new shoes with < 20-30 miles on them all the time for marathons. As long as I get a run of 8 miles or so on them, I feel good with a new pair.
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Re: What NOT to do for your first marathon

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:42 pm

EDIT: Shit, this is supposed to be a DON'T.

Okay, don't do a new breakfast/potty routine for your marathon. Don't give yourself too little time to go. Don't underestimate the power and importance of going through the portapotty lines three or four times while you wait for the race to start. Don't be embarrassed about what your nerves are doing to your insides. What a Face

(Original:)
Develop your breakfast and potty routine early on in training so you know how long you need between eating and the race. Then when you show up, spend the hour or two before the race cycling through the portapotty lines. You may or may not actually go.
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Re: What NOT to do for your first marathon

Post  Mark B on Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:02 pm

@JohnP wrote:
@Mark B wrote:Do NOT wear a brand-new shoe on race day, or even one that's fairly new unless you've done at least one 20-miler in them. Some blister-causing manufacturing/design defects don't show up until well beyond the half marathon mark.

Mark, I have to say, I wear new shoes with < 20-30 miles on them all the time for marathons. As long as I get a run of 8 miles or so on them, I feel good with a new pair.

Glad it worked for you, John. But when I switched to a fresh pair of shoes in taper before my first marathon, I ran 12 miles in them before the race. During the race, however, I started to feel a hot spot forming at about Mile 14. It pretty quickly turned into a gigantic blister. If I'd done a 20 in them first, I would have noticed the defect and been able to do something about it before turning my first marathon into a hobble-fest.
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Re: What NOT to do for your first marathon

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:29 pm

I'm just like John - usually I wear shoes with less than 50 miles on them.
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Re: What NOT to do for your first marathon

Post  ounce on Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:55 pm

@Mark B wrote:
@JohnP wrote:
@Mark B wrote:Do NOT wear a brand-new shoe on race day, or even one that's fairly new unless you've done at least one 20-miler in them. Some blister-causing manufacturing/design defects don't show up until well beyond the half marathon mark.

Mark, I have to say, I wear new shoes with < 20-30 miles on them all the time for marathons. As long as I get a run of 8 miles or so on them, I feel good with a new pair.

Glad it worked for you, John. But when I switched to a fresh pair of shoes in taper before my first marathon, I ran 12 miles in them before the race. During the race, however, I started to feel a hot spot forming at about Mile 14. It pretty quickly turned into a gigantic blister. If I'd done a 20 in them first, I would have noticed the defect and been able to do something about it before turning my first marathon into a hobble-fest.

@Michele "1L" Keane wrote:I'm just like John - usually I wear shoes with less than 50 miles on them.

So, there are multiple opinions on the new shoe topic which will require the person to assess what works best for her or him. I will put a 20 mile run prior to racing in them.

I think we could pretty much agree not to buy at the Expo the pair in which you're going to run the race.
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Re: What NOT to do for your first marathon

Post  Alex Kubacki on Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:55 pm

@Dave-O wrote:Don't be afraid to pee your pants.

Not to get carried away with this, but is there any trick here to doing it or do you just go? What about people right behind you? I always end up hitting the woods, but I can't aford to lose any time when I run Bayshore.
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