The @runningproject Fast Friday - 15

Quick And Dirty Running Tips Every Friday - Marathon Mistakes

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The different phases of my most recent marathon

It's marathon time again. In Queenstown this weekend I'll be racing my second marathon for the year and its looking like the weather is not going to play nice. Hopefully the wind will be blowing in the right direction. That's not what we're here for today though, but it gets me thinking about all the things I've done wrong on race day. This weeks "Fast Friday" is all about mistakes, both myself and other runners I know have made on race day.

  1. Using New Shoes or Clothing. This is a common mistake a lot of people make. I have actually done this myself, and on some occasions, it has not been a good idea. Try and make sure the running shoes have al least two or three long runs in them and you're not wearing any clothes you haven't trained with previously. You don't want to find out your new clothes or race shoes are rubbing the wrong way at the 10km mark of the race.

  2. Substituting Snake Oil For Training. Fortunately, not me. But know someone who decided they would do a marathon with minimal training. In a last gasp to get through the full 42.2km run, they tried to consume gels and Gatorade out on the course as much as possible to try and get them through. Not only did it not agree with their stomach, it didn't help their run.

  3. Having A Big Meal Before The Race. It also doesn't help if you are again trying something new. If you're trying to make up for missed food or not having carbo loaded during the week, think again. If you're eating too much before the race, it could still be digesting as your running your race. The last thing you want is to be feeling bloated when you're running as well.

  4. Not Warming Up. I was never really sold on this, until I started doing it. A warm up run that last about 15 minutes and has you running at a slow pace, 2 or 3 minutes slower than your race pace, will have you starting the race a lot better. The best thing about this is you'll recover a lot better in the days after the race.

  5. Incorrect Pacing. This is really common, especially if this is a big event for the runner, as it's so easy to get carried away with the occasion and atmosphere. What usually makes this worse is that you may be still feeling good at the pace you're running by the 10km mark, but this most likely won't last through to the 30th kilometre. So try not to let the adrenalin of the big race get to you, try to set a reasonable pace you can run for the entire 42km.

There are quite a few more, but though these would be my top 5.

About the Author
Hey I'm Vince, an Aussie living in New Zealand, trying my best to make the most of the time I have. I work as a Software Engineer but love to run and all aspects of it, including geeking out on the latest science to help get the most out of my body.

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I hope to run a marathon some day. I'll bear these tips in mind. It still feels intimidating, but then I've done some pretty long runs. Just need to do the training