How to Run a Marathon

  • Start training early. I spent six months training for my first marathon and wish I had spent a year on it. The longer you train before the event, the better you’ll feel on the day (and the better you’ll run).
  • Seriously, make sure you don’t have injuries. If you have any slight injuries from years past, they will all come out during the event. Get everything checked — not just the obvious sports injuries, but things like your blood pressure.
  • Just like you started training early, start dieting early. You can run a marathon while you’re overweight, but it will hurt. Expect sore joints and a much harder time keeping a good pace. Runners World has a great diet guide for newbies interested in getting into shape from a nutritional perspective.
  • Cover your nipples. Seriously! Marathon runners can develop something called a fissure of the nipple caused by friction. The end result is pain, plus nasty stains on your favorite running gear. I recommend wearing a compression vest (LANBAOSI has a good, affordable one) to avoid any chafing. For women, silicone nipple covers (the type you wear with a backless dress) are also a good choice.
  • Take it easy on the carb loading. Yes, you need energy. No, you don’t need to eat like a pig. Change your habits suddenly before the race and you’ll feel awful once you get off the starting line.
  • After you do it, feel proud of yourself. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating your achievement. You did something very few people ever do. Even if you walked, you still made it across the finish line.

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