When you try something new, things will go wrong—it happens. The magic comes in learning from your mistakes and moving on to the next milestone. Running has it’s own special set of fails especially when it comes to marathons. From training to racing, there’s a lot to learn, but many of the lessons are intuitive. Listen to your body, don’t ignore common sense and, hopefully, learn from the mistakes of others.
Read on for 10 common training and racing fails and how to overcome them.
Not fueling during long runs
There’s a lot of awareness about staying fueled during long runs, but I know many people who try to run on empty stomachs and always feel sick afterwards. Stay fueled to feel better, run faster and maintain energy levels.
Making every run hard
Often, once we start to see progress, we want to go farther or faster on every run. For progress to continue, keep the hard runs hard and the easy runs easy. I read this tip in an article about triathlete Linsey Corbin, and I’ve never forgotten it.
Trying to make up for missed runs
Training is never perfect. Know that missed runs happen, and that’s OK. Just move forward and focus on the next one.
What gives you gas, makes you feel bloated or causes a run to the restroom? Play around with different foods, and pay attention to how they make you feel. It’s important to determine what works for you, and avoid the things that don’t.
Doing too much
You don’t have to train like a pro runner to run a great marathon. Sometimes less is more, and most important of all is staying injury free. Listen to your body, and trust the process. You are going to do great!
Starting out too fast
Seriously. I have been coaching and mentoring people for 10 years, and I have clients and friends who continue to repeat this mistake. You know your average pace time for long runs. Definitely use race day adrenaline to your advantage, but let it carry you through the whole day, not just at the beginning. Even though it’s easy to get caught up in the hype, start slightly slower than your goal time for the first couple miles to warm up. You’ll thank me later.
Nothing new on race day
How many times have you heard this? And yet, plenty of people will buy a new pair of shoes for race day, and even though they are the same style they wear, just a newer version, their feet end up hurting. Stick with what you know.
Not training with on course nutrition
Do a few runs with the same nutrition that’s offered on race day to see how your body reacts. It’s better to be prepared for the worst, than hope for the best.
Talk about a brutal shower. I had no idea Body Glide existed when I did my first marathon, and let me tell you, the chaffing was so bad, I hurt even when I was naked. Put Glide everywhere. Between your butt cheeks. Under your boobs. Around the waistband of your bottoms. Under your arms. On your triceps. Put it anywhere, where two things could possibly rub together. Try it or another anti-chafe product on your longer runs.
Having no post-race meet up plan
Make a plan for where to meet post-race, just in case your phone dies or you decide not to carry one. It’s no fun walking around more than you have to post-marathon.