A roundup of all the important gear, fuel, equipment, and apparel I’ll be bringing with me to get me thru my first marathon! Anticipating a weekend full of fun and memories, these products will be with me as I attempt to achieve my ultimate running goal. Plus, some tips from veteran marathoners and their advice to first timers!
The weekend is here, friends.
Not just the weekend in general, but THE weekend. The weekend of my first EVER marathon! I am so pumped. The past two weeks have gone by agonizingly slow ever since I started tapering and after my longest training run, I felt so ready to race and DO THIS THING. But alas, I had to wait. Now the wait is over though, and as you read this I’ll be making my way (with the company of my amazing mother!) to the city where my race is being held.
For now, I am keeping the exact race secret because of some unfortunate privacy issues (dang internet stalkers), but I hope to be able to share all the details with you in the next few weeks after I accomplish my goal and recap the race on the blog!
I’ve learned a lot about myself, running, and the human body in general during this training cycle and I wanted to share some of those insights with you today. Starting with what exactly I’ll be bringing with me to get me thru my race! Here are some of the MUST HAVE things I’ve used during my training, using during the actual race, and recovering with after…
Nathan Fuel Belt
Got this about halfway thru training when my runs started getting longer and I had to start practicing with hydration and fueling during them! Something totally new to me.
Saucony Guide 9s
My running shoe of choice. Light-weight yet stable and perfect for my neutral stride.
EOS Peppermint Lip Balm
Keeps my lips from chapping obviously and the peppermint scent keeps my nose clear and not running.
Vega Pre-Workout Energizer (Acai Berry Flavor)
I’ve taken one of these before all of my long runs and plan on doing the same on race day!
Vega Intra-Workout Hydrator (Berry Flavor)
My electrolyte replenisher of choice.
Buddy Fruits Squeeze Packs
Forget those nasty, sticky gus/gels (tried them and was disgusted!), I fuel with REAL FOOD on my long runs! Pure fruit purees in squeeze packs. They’re easy to take in, taste good, and don’t upset my stomach while I’m running.
Annie’s Whole Wheat Shells and White Cheddar Mac n’ Cheese
My pre-race dinner of choice. It’s what I did before my long training runs and it worked like a charm! I also eat a big breakfast the day of, of course.
Because all runners need ALL THE BANANAS before their race. Great source of carbs, glucose, and potassium!
See above. ALL THE CARBS the day before the race. Plus, I happen to love these and currently have a 15 POUND case of them at my house. SCORE!
Rolling out my legs is a must for me post-running no matter what distance I go. So I know it will be MUCH needed after a marathon!
The epitome of ‘hurts so good’. This will be so essential for flushing the lactic acid out of my legs post-race.
AKA my post race meal of choice! I’ve already checked to make sure the city I’m running in has one! BAHAHAHA!
The most important thing I’m bringing? My smile. Yes, I know…so cliche right? Well I don’t care. I am so excited about this race and I feel so fortunate that I am able to do it. I just want to enjoy myself the whole way thru. You can bet I’ll be smiling a big ol’ goofy grin in every race picture. 🙂
Now for some tips from the running gurus in my life! I asked my trusted and true running friends to share with me the number one tip they would give to a first time marathoner. They came up with some true, authentic wisdom that ANY runner could use.
Prioritize sleep, especially the week leading up to the marathon. Don’t worry about carb loading the night before, but focus on complex carbs the entire week, and obviously don’t try anything new on race day. If you go to the expo, you’ll have so many new products and companies giving you samples, but if you haven’t practiced with it, race day is not the time. Remember to stay calm. You’re going to be on your feet for hours. Take water before you think you need it, you don’t want to fall behind on hydration. My only other advice is to have fun! Trust in yourself because you have done the training. | Sarah
Something I found to be immensely helpful once I hit about mile 8 was to, “run the mile I was in.” I don’t know where I heard that mantra the first time, but it took my mind off the daunting idea of running more miles. Instead of thinking about the near-hour I had left, I focused on the next 9 minutes. Made the whole thing fly by! | Julia
I have so many tips, but if I had to choose one that isn’t the typical “don’t go out too fast” or “nothing new in race day,” it’d be: Wear your name on your shirt so people can cheer you on! Having someone scream out for you when you hit that wall will give you the boost of energy you need to power through! | Nicole
My biggest tip is enjoy it! The hard work is over, you’ve put in the training, the grueling long runs and speed drills. The actual race is when you get to enjoy what all that hard work was for. Oh and put your name on your shirt! Not sure if this is just an NYC Marathon thing, but the crowds will legit chant your name is it’s AWESOME. | Kayla
No matter how great your training, there will be moments of suffering. Just knowing that can make it easier to get through those moments! It’s normal. Take a breath and just keep putting one foot in front of the other without worry about pace. | Amanda
Besides don’t go out too fast, I’d say hydrate and fuel early and often-later in the race you can’t make up for under-fueling during the first half of your race. Stick to your plan and take a sip of water, even if you aren’t feeling thirsty. | Lauren
Chat with those around you. Runners are friendly. Let people know it’s your first marathon! Don’t be shocked if you’re a hot mess. Like when I sobbed after my last marathon because I just wanted to sit and there was nowhere to sit. And have a designated spot to reconvene with friends and family afterwards if it’s a bigger race. | Jessie
Remember that you are capable. Keep repeating that. I. Am. Capable. | Susie
It is inevitably going to suck at some point, and it’s how you deal with it that will determine your success. To that end, remember that your mind will do all sorts of things to try to convince you that you won’t make it or can’t do it, and that it will do this far before you are physically incapable of finishing. Figure out how to overcome the mental hurdles and play mind over matter when you are struggling! | Laura
Prepare to get mentally tough out there. Know that if it’s your first marathon you will probably be in pain at some point and may even feel like you can’t go on. Quiet those voices in your head. You can. End of story. Plan a couple of simple positive mantras you can repeat to yourself when the miles get hard. Also, tell your family/friends/supporters to stand at the mile points where you think you might be struggling. Seeing my parents at mile 21 propelled me for the next couple miles. | Kerri
Have you ever run a race before?
What’s the longest distance you have ever run?
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