Running a marathon is no joke. 26.2 miles is a long way to run.
Running 26.2 miles puts both physical and mental demands on you and your body,
There are many things that can go right during a marathon but also many things that can go wrong that you will want to prepare for.
- Chafing. Chafing can start early in the miles if you have not chosen the proper attire. All runners will tell you to make sure that you test out your race day outfit on a long run before you actually run the marathon. This will mostly ensure that you find clothes that don’t rub and chafe as you run (although minor chafing can still happen). Be aware of tags and seams that can bother. Use Body Glide or another anti-chafe product to lube up those places that are bound to chafe-under arms, inner thighs, under your sports bra band. Marathon aid stations will often have vaseline that you can use should you run into the nightmare of chafing. There is nothing worse than stepping in the shower post race when you have fresh chafing!
- Toenail Troubles. This is sometimes an unforseen problem as a seam of a sock rubbing against a toe can cause issues with your toenails as you run. Toenail troubles can also crop up if your shoes are too small. Many runners would recommend sizing up a half size for race day as during a marathon your feet can swell a little bit causing rubbing of your toes. Sometimes this problem is unavoidable and you may find that you lose a toenail post race. This fall I raced a half marathon with shoes where the toe-box was too narrow resulting in a sad lost toenail.
- Poor Fueling. Fueling during a marathon is a very personal thing. There are so many different options out there for fueling nowadays-gels, chews, sport beans. It can be hard to navigate the different choices. The best way to do so is through trial and error during training. Find fuel that will digest well, that has a flavor you like and that contains the right amount of nutrition to give you the boos that you need as you run. You also need to practice the timing of taking in your running fuel so that you don’t bonk.
- Dehydration. Hydrating adequately during a marathon can all depend on the temperature and how fast you are running. The faster you run the more sweat you will lose, and the same goes for the temperature, the hotter it is the more you will sweat. When you sweat you will lose valuable electrolytes. During a marathon you need to make sure that you take in the right amount of water and electrolytes. If you know ahead of time what electrolyte drink will be used on course you can practice with it during training. If it is going to be exceptionally hot on race day some runners will even carry salt tabs which can help curb dehydration. During the Vermont City Marathon one year I got so dehydrated that I could not run in a straight line. I did not heed my body’s request for water and electrolytes which had disastrous consequences.
- Hypothermia. This problem is a little more extreme but can happen without warning. As race day approaches it is important to watch the weather and to adjust your race day apparel accordingly. Wearing too few layers coupled with sweating in the cold and wind or if it is raining can bring on hypothermia as you exert your body. Runner’s World has a tool that can help you to determine what to wear depending on weather and conditions.
What can go wrong during a marathon and tips to help #marathon #runchat #runningTweet
Running a marathon is a challenge and so adequate preparation is key. You will need to prepare your mind, your body, your gear, your fueling and your hydration. Hopefully these tips will help you as you prepare to take on this challenge!