What Runners Wish They Had Known Before Their First Marathon

Keep these in mind if you’re training for a marathon
Staff Writer

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Cooler temps, warm blankets, pumpkin-spice everything, and marathons...Some of the most notable races of the year are coming up in the next couple of months and you can bet there will be a few first-timers. 

For tips to run in cooler weather, click here

Fitness training app, Freeletics asked its 15 million users what they wished they had known before they ran their first marathon. Here's what they had to say:

That eating too much fiber beforehand was a bad idea

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Eating foods rich in fiber before your race can leave you feeling full and uncomfortable. If that wasn’t enough, soluble fiber will also speed up your digestion. You will be under enough stress on the big day as it is without suddenly panicking about where the next portable toilet is. So try to avoid too much fiber before the race. It will be one less thing to worry about.

The post-marathon beer doesn’t taste great

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After an achievement like 26.2 miles, you’ll feel like a treat. That treat is not the beer offered to you after the finish line, trust us.

For the best value destinations for beer and bicycles, click here

To start the first mile slow and not panic

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A classic: the race begins and everyone charges off. The first people are already pulling away and you start to panic that you’ll get completely left behind. It seems that even the most elderly runners are way ahead of you. Don’t let this put you under pressure to forget your pace and your plan. The first few miles and the Verazzano Bridge will be crowded, but just roll with it and take your time. If you start too fast, you’ll lose power towards the end.

To try my snacks & energy gels beforehand

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There’s nothing worse than being at mile 14, pulling out an energy gel or power bar and then finding out 15 minutes later that it doesn’t agree with you. Obviously it’s also a downer if it tastes gross too. So try any new snacks or flavors before the big day, just to be sure your stomach can take it.

That much older people would pass me - and that’s ok

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First-time marathon runners are often surprised at how they are passed by people who would appear to be less fit than them. If an elderly lady leaves you well behind, that could hurt your ego a bit. If someone who appears much heavier than you passes you and you just can’t catch up with them, it can leave you a little startled. But it happens - more than you think. And it’s not important to you. Don’t chase them because you assume you should be ahead of them. The only thing you need to focus on is you, no one else.

How emotional it would be

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Many marathon runners experience a sudden rush of emotions after they complete the race, which is to be expected when you consider what an achievement it is, plus all of the countless hours of work and the pain and the struggle of the last few. Finally achieving what you’ve worked so long for can be very emotional, so just go with it and be proud of yourself.

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