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My [Novice] Advice for Training for Your First Marathon

So you’re thinking about running a marathon? Well, you’ve come to the right place to learn from a very novice runner. Running 26.2 miles can sound super intimidating, it did to me at least when I first signed up. However, now as I look back on the entire journey, I am very grateful that I had the experience and opportunity. To help other prospective marathon runners, I’ve put together 10 tips that I think will help you get through training and some pictures from my journey along the way.

 

Tip 1: Create a schedule and stick to it the best you can

I found a training schedule online and I wrote it down in my daily agenda. I like to write everything down so when I finish a run, I get to cross it off and feel super accomplished. I liked having my training schedule in my daily calendar with the rest of my life to-dos so I could prioritize the runs I needed to get done.

Tip 2: You just gotta run and have fun!

My only goal for running my first marathon was just to finish. This was something I kept reminding myself when I was training. I didn’t need to be the fastest or run the most miles, I just needed to prepare myself to finish the race. This made training less stressful and allowed me to have fun and explore some great running spots in Colorado.

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Tip 3: Go potty

This one is pretty self-explanatory - don’t forget to use the restroom before you head out for your run.

Tip 4: Invest in some fun, comfortable running outfits

I have a favorite pair of leggings that I wear every time I go for a long run. I know what I feel most comfortable in and it helps me want to run and get those longer miles under my belt. I also always wear my favorite pair of Balega Hidden Comfort socks to make sure my feet are happy and blister free.

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Tip 5: Go to bed early!!

I already go to bed around 9:00 p.m. every night so this one is pretty easy for me. A good night’s sleep before an early morning run will make all the difference in the world. It will also be a good habit to get into for race day if you have an early morning start of your marathon.

Tip 6: Believe in yourself

Don’t get discouraged on bad days or stressed when you feel like you can’t run the number of miles you’re supposed to be running. Don’t worry about what you can’t do, that won’t help you at all. Focus on what you can do and believe that you’re going to be ready for your race. Half of training is MENTAL.

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Tip 7: Stretch!

If you’re knees or Achilles are hurting after a run and you don’t know why, it’s probably because you aren’t stretching or foam rolling enough. Recovery is important.

Tip 8: Don’t take yourself too seriously

Okay you’re pretty badass for training and wanting to do a marathon, but let’s be honest, you aren’t exactly an Olympic athlete. Just keep yourself calm and enjoy the experience and opportunity to run a marathon.

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Tip 9: Running playlist must be 🔥

If you listen to music when you run like I do, then you know that the music you have on your playlist makes all the difference. If you’re running up a huge hill and a great pump up song comes on, that often will help you crush that hill.

Tip 10: It will all be worth it

Your hours of training, giving up your social life and chafing will all pay off on race day. It will all be worth it when you get to your starting gate and you feel confident and ready to run your first marathon. Crossing that finish line is a pretty unreal experience!

 

So there you have it, my 10 tips for getting through training for your first marathon.

 

This past October, I ran the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington D.C. I had a blast running through the National Mall and right by all of the monuments. The crowd was amazing, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the service men and women who made the race possible. All I have to do now is sign up for my next race.

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Photo 1: Sunrise run with Rockie Rey in Edwards, CO

Photo 2: Rainbows in Moab, UT

Photo 3: Follow the yellow brick road in Beaver Creek, CO

Photo 4: Mid-marathon picture