First time marathon

Hello, I'm running my first marathon on Sunday and am starting to get a little nervous. I'm not sure if it's just negativity pouring in due to lack of running or eating too much chocolate or just natural nerves but I'm worried that I haven't put enough effort in.

I've been training on and off for about 12 months and have done stacks of 9 milers, loads of 14 milers, 3 x 17 / 18 milers and just 1 x 20 mile.....  Is that enough?  Will the last six miles finish me off?!  

Any words of encouragement /advice / experience will be greatly appreciated.



  • You'll be fine Tara as long as you've done one 20 miler you've done enough - it's natural to think you've not prepared enough - take the first few miles really steady and don't go too fast - the last 6 just do what you can to get through 

    I was due to do my 8th Edinburgh marathon this Sunday but got an injury and I'm gutted - so I'm a bit envious 

    If you're doing Edinburgh it's a lovely route and the people are great 

    All the best and I'm sure you'll be planning the next one on Monday xx


  • Thank you image

    So sorry that you can't make it - what a shame!

    I'll update on Monday and I'm actually already thinking of my next one...  but this could change by Sunday evening..!



    Tara - your marathon training is done now, and it looks like you have prepared well.

    What you need to do now is plan everything for race day, a packing list for your kit and work out exactly what you're going to eat for race day breakfast, any snacks, drinks before during and after the race.   Don't forget a selection of kit for all weathers including sun protection, cream, sunglasses, hat or a visor.  

    Up until race day, try and get plenty of sleep and fluids and good healthy food, avoid alcohol.

    On race day just don't go off to fast, nice and easy especially for the first half.

    Enjoy it and savour the occasion.

  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭

    ^^^^ +1 for what Shades said.

    Cut your toenails nice and short tonight or Friday (that way if you over do it there's a day or two to recover!). Plenty of sleep on Friday night - you might struggle to sleep on Sat night, this is normal. The last week before a marathon is nerve-wracking, taper madness can be very stressful.

    You've done all the training, just enjoy the race. The first half should feel easy, if not then you may be going too fast (classic marathon mistake). You should have some idea from your training of what pace you can at, stick to this and try to run at the same pace throughout. The other classic mistake is trying something new on race day, so make sure you only wear clothes and gear which you know are comfortable and work and don't eat or drink anything you haven't tried to run on before.

    Best of luck - which race are you doing?

  • Thanks S & R - funnily enough I've just bought a new pair of skins and a new sports bra - neither of which I've worn on previous runs  image I've worn skins before - these are just a different model so should be ok and I barely need the other so not much can go wrong there image

    I'm doing the marathon in Edinburgh so really looking forward to it.  I don't think I need worry about going too fast...  But will stick to my usual eating / drinking routine.

    Thanks for the advice!

  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭

    Tara, I've done Edinburgh twice. There's a number of threads on here about Edinburgh which might be useful, but a couple of things are worth mentioning:

    The weather forecast for Sunday looks good, but it can be really windy once you leave the city (i.e.- almost straightaway), so just be mentally prepared for this. The good thing is that if it's against you on the way out then it's behind you on the way back (and obviously vice-versa)

    Getting back into town - Musselburgh is some distance out from Edinburgh - if you need transport back to the city then the best way is public buses.

    Watch out for (very) uneven ground around Gosford House - legs will be tiring, and the surface underfoot can be rough and slippy.

    Lastly, when you get to the start line, you're going to be nervous and think that everyone else looks much fitter and faster than you - don't worry, they're looking around and thinking the same thing. Remember you've trained for this, and remember to look around as run and high-5 the kids, you only ever get one first marathon.

    Let us know how you get on!

  • literatinliteratin ✭✭✭
    Tara Hilton wrote (see)

    Thanks S & R - funnily enough I've just bought a new pair of skins and a new sports bra - neither of which I've worn on previous runs  image I've worn skins before - these are just a different model so should be ok and I barely need the other so not much can go wrong there image

    Chafing. That's what can go wrong. If you barely need it, then just wear an old one, not the new one.

  • Hi all, just to say I finished it - my time was 04:30:27 so no records broken but happy enough.  No chafing occured - niggly knee started to niggle at mile 13 but wore off when I took a pain killer and other than forgetting the suncream it was a great day! 



    Well done Tara, that's a great result....I did mention the sun creamimage

  • You did image I had a very interesting farmer's tan!  (for tan read red patches).

    Have entered the Chester marathon in October image



    Tara - Chester is a very good marathon, and maybe should be a little cooler for you.

    I mention the sun cream as I am very fair skinned and I actually put sun cream on before every race I run irrespective what time of year, so I don't get caught out. It's amazing how many races suddenly have a burst of warm sunshine.

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