Ask The Coach – Your First Marathon

Ask The Coach – Your First Marathon

I haven’t done an Ask The Coach in a while, but I recently got an email from someone training for her first marathon.

She’s a little frustrated that she seems to be slowing down, and thinking that endurance built from long slow runs should help her speed on the shorter run days. She typically runs after work and is often tired. She also wasn’t sure about running the race if she wasn’t going to hit a certain time goal.

My response:

I don’t know how she is pacing her long runs vs her short faster runs, but she needs to make sure they are appropriate to her skill level.
I also made the following key points to her.
  1. Do NOT worry about a time for your first marathon. Just run it.
  2. Make sure you are getting adequate recovery (sleep, eating right, taking days off, etc).
  3. Long runs “hurt.” Especially the first ones. It takes a while for you body to adapt.
  4. Make sure you are getting in enough fluid & nutrition on your runs. If you run after work, you have to pay attention to what you eat and drink all day.
  5. Cut back on cycling and swimming when training for a marathon…use them as recovery – super easy spins and super easy swims. No intensity.
There are a lot of other tips to give, such as hiring a coach to monitor workouts and recovery, but the bottom line for your first marathon is to just enjoy the running experience. Train for it properly but forget about pace. Marathons aren’t easy! Get your first marathon under your belt and go from there.
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Nicole Odell


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