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Running first marathon

Updated on November 1, 2009

My first marathon

My first marathon was Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore. I ran with my wife, who actually inspired me to get into marathon competitive running. It is so much easier when you run with your friends or group of people you trained with. Below are tips on how to approach the Final race day

Goal for your first marathon

You might have started with various goals like finish your first race in 7 hours, or 4 hours or ahead of other friend etc, but when it comes to the first marathon day, your goal will be to finish your first marathon

Build up to "The race day"

Typically most training programs will not have long runs in last 4 weeks before the race, it is to allow your legs to recover from the long training program and get ready for the marathon distance. It was a bit surprising for me to do that, but when I started running the marathon I realized how important it is to do that, you just feel so fresh !

Diet for the first marathon

Two months before the marathon run are important. Completely avoid alcohol, junk food, chocolates and any such thing in excess. Just continue on the corbo diet, continue your pasta parties and rice based dishes. Eat sandwiches, bread (may be whole meal as you get more conscious). It is a good practice to eat bread / banana just before your training routine

In terms of race performance, it is a balance between performance vs fuel supply. If you stock up too much on food, you will gain weight and run slowly, but it will ensure you complete the race safely. So for first marathon, I would go with more food !

Night before the marathon

Actually if it is morning race like Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, you hardly sleep before your first marathon. It is a good idea to catch up good afternoon nap and also keep drinking lots of water during the day

Ensure you do all the preparations like placing the chip on the shoes etc the night before. There is transport provided from a few points, but it is advisable to take a cab early in morning and reach probably an hour before the race

Books on marathon running

What most runners do before the race

It is a bit funny, but most runners actually spend time queuing up for the toilets for almost 30 plus minutes

It is advisable to carry a bottle of your favorite running drink along with you and you drink it just before the race starts. If you can manage to be creative managing your bladder and avoid that 30 min queue, it just helps a bit mentally

Warm up before the race is important. Run for about 100 m or so and then do light stretching. It is not necessary to have long stretching before the marathon, light warm up will do

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And the dream race

It always helps to line up in right place as advised by race organizers, so that you will not be obstructing faster runners. Please show utmost respect for every runner during the race. Running a full marathon is a serious business and is like a big festival, you need to rise for the occasion 

Running first 5k, are kind of very easy with the energy you see in & around you. And that is probably time you look for a quick drink. There is no hard & fast rule for how much you drink and how many times. Try to follow the same pattern you got used to in your training, anything in excess is not good, including water (there is one interesting thing which can happen with less water and more salts, Hypernatremia)

Try to run in a group or with a pacer for your first race. There will be times you will feel a bit low or drained, and you need someone to give you a hand. If that happens, take a 5-10 min break, stretch lightly, rest and you should be good to go. Please do not try to stretch too much, there are chances that you will do more harm than otherwise

Look at your watch and every km board, feel good, celebrate every km milestone, and build a story ! It gets a little difficult after 30K mark, but you can take your time as they dream seems in sight. You will basically stop at every drink station (which is typically at every km mark after say 24K mark). Ensure you drink as much cold as possible to ensure you cool down and also put some water on your face & head for freshness

And thats it !

It is kind of fun to run last few km, as you can see how close you are to your dream finish, but still the body just refuses to move forward. The heat makes it more difficult. But it happens, and finally the 42K mark comes. There are lots of people to cheer you for last say 500 m, and more so for last 100 m, and for sure your body finds plenty of water to moist your eyes as you receive that reception

And you do it ! your first marathon dream coming through !

Please remember to keep walking after you cross the finish line, and stretch a bit, even though you have hardly any gas left in the tank


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    • sumeetparab profile image

      sumeetparab 8 years ago from Singapore

      Yeah, come at Padang on Dec 6th, it is a big festival atmosphere

    • hcshi profile image

      hcshi 8 years ago from Singapore

      Great hub! Makes me want to go run my first Marathon.