Running a Marathon: Do’s and Don’ts!

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Romain Chevalier is a certified health and performance coach, pilates instructor and personal trainer.

A highly decorated athlete, he is ranked among the top 10 triathletes in Thailand.

He is based in Hua Hin and can help you become the best version of yourself.

Connect with Romain on Facebook and start your journey to a better you @HealthCoachRomain

Continuing his monthly health and fitness feature for Hua Hin Today, Romain shares tips on some of the things you should and should not do when running a marathon. 

This June, thousands of runners will converge on the streets of Hua Hin to take part in the Hua Hin Marathon.

Running a marathon is a daunting challenge for many people. 

It takes months of training, dedication, and perseverance to complete 42.195 km of running. 

But you’ve already put in the hard yards. You’ve done the training and you are fitter and healthier for it.

You’re ready. Or at least you think you are. 

To make sure you’re prepared for the task, there are several things you should and shouldn’t do to make sure you absolutely nail it!

Follow those do’s and don’t to avoid ruining those months of preparation.

Pacing and Race Strategy:

You might have a goal and specific target time to hit. Ideally you have been practicing this pace and effort multiple times in training, and you already know you can sustain it over a long period of time.

Do: Write down your splits, 5 – 10 -21k – 30k – 40k. It will help you to break down the effort in smaller goals and it will also help you to stay on track.

Pro Tips: You might write them down on your arms so you don’t have to recalculate the splits in your mind while running.

Do: Plan a flat pace for the whole marathon or a negative split. Don’t plan to go faster for the first half and try to hold on the second half, it’s the best way to blow up.

A marathon is a long race, if you are going slightly above the intensity that you can sustain, you will accumulate fatigue and might pay for it after 30-35km.

Pro Tips: If you want to run a negative split, run slightly easier the first half and pick the pace from there.

Do: Stick to your plan, if you have done a proper taper and well planned your pace, you will feel easy and great in the first half, it’s normal and doesn’t mean you should go faster.

Do: Keep the intensity very steady all along, no rush, no sprints in the middle of the race, marathon is a game of efficiency and consistency. You want to keep your heart rate low as long as possible.

Do: Plan your nutrition:

e.g every 30min take a gel and try to consume water every 45 minutes. 

Don’t

Don’t try anything new on the day of the race

Don’t wear a new pair of running shoes

Using a new pair of runners on the marathon day is probably the most straightforward way to get injured. 

Running shoes have different cushions, different drops (heel height – toe height), different toe box, all those small parameters add up and make a big difference after 20-30k. 

You might be resilient but your body takes time to adapt to new equipment.

If you have no choice, your running shoes get to their end of life right before the marathon or the dog or the neighbors destroy your shoes.

Do : Look out to buy the same shoes or the next version.

Pro tips : Baby powder in the shoes can help to avoid blisters.

Don’t: Wear a new outfit or clothing on race day

You want to look great and get a new outfit just for the marathon, bad idea … as per new shoes, the same applies to a new running shirt / underwear. That might sound a bit stupid but that’s probably the best untold advice.

Many people will finish a marathon with bleeding nipples (ouch!), high humidity, repetitive movements, it might get a bit itchy or worse.

Do: try all the equipment in your training that you will wear during the marathon and adjust if needed.

Pro tips : Vaseline is your friend !

Don’t: Try a special race day breakfast:

Race day is coming and you wonder what to eat for breakfast, you browse the internet and find this amazing breakfast.

Great, but you never tried it before —> Don’t.

Do: Practice your breakfast during training and stick to what you know is working for you.

The same goes to nutrition during race day. Don’t try out new stuff. It’s not always easy to find a bathroom right in the middle of a marathon, you don’t want to risk it.

You get the idea, no new stuff for the marathon!

You should now be fit, ready and have enough knowledge to run a great marathon.

Have a great run and best of luck to anyone who is running in the Hua Hin Marathon.

 

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