If you have planned out your race and have tried and works great, stick to your plan! We will be sharing on what you are going to experience during a marathon. However, never two runners are the same. Both will have different experience at different part of the marathon. We will share with you what most runners will generally experience. Whatever it is, the most important part of this article is to Concentrate on your race plan, stick to it and FOCUS!
We will divide the marathon into 5 parts, Starting, First 15 km, Second 15km, Last 12 km and Finishing.
With 10,000 over runners starting at the same time, you can never have a chance to position yourself at an ideal spot. The best place to position yourself is behind the faster runner and in front of the slower runner. It will be very perfect to happen in actual race!
If the race is seeded by finisher timing, than go towards your estimated finish timing starting area. There will be a sign at the starting area indicating the finish timing. Be honest to yourself and stand where you should be, although not many runners will adhere to it.
If the race is not seeded by finisher timing, than it will be base on your own judgement. Move forward as much as possible near to the runners of your own ability. You can judge by appearance or you might have race with that particular person before. If in doubt, ask around you what’s their target finish time.
If you are targeting to run a 4 hours marathon, you do not wish to be standing around a sub 2 hr 30 mins marathoner! If it ever happened, it can be dangerous as someone might fall and get trampled over!
Below is a video of a lady who fell at the starting point. Luckily the runners around are aware and helped her. Although you will be soo focus at the starting line, please ensure your safety as well as others.
While you are waiting for the race to start, relax and focus. Do not get too nervous and lose control. Do not think about what had happened in the past or what to expect in future! Your body is here and make you mind stay in the present! Get ready to execute your race strategy.
Once you start running, take each point as it is and remain focus. It’s ok if you start slow due to the mass of runners around you. It is very easy to start fast at start, and easy does not mean good. Pick up your pace a bit as the crowd start to spread out. Remember your pacing plan, stick to it regardless if anyone overtake you. Do not be pressured by them. Concentrate on your race plan, stick to it and FOCUS!
First 15 km
This is like a honeymoon period of a marathon for runners who have trained well. It seems easy and this is where most will socialise with other runners. You may also tend to run faster than what was planned. Concentrate on your race plan, stick to it and FOCUS!
Second 15 km
Runners tend to get serious at this stage. If you have done long slow distance training run, you will pass through this stage better than those runners who have not done any. You may not have mood to socialise, than do self-talk. Concentrate on your race plan, stick to it and FOCUS!
Last 12 km
This is the most demanding part of the marathon. For first time marathon runner, this will be an enlightenment stage! Like myself, I will never forget my first marathon especially at this stage! Even some experienced marathon runner having trouble to overcome this stage.
If you have prepared for this marathon and trained adequately and stick to your race plan right from the start, than you should no face any difficulty, especially those who have done their long slow distance training run. That is the reason why we advised not to run fast at the beginning, because the real race of a marathon starts at 30 km mark onwards!
This is the stage where you will run up the ECP under the open sky! It is physically demanding! You will feel fatigue, muscle tightness and soreness! Psychologically and mentally, this is the most demanding part of the whole race. Encourage yourself with self-talk and imagine that you are running smoothly and effortlessly as you were running at the start of the race.
Motivate yourself that you are nearing the finishing line. You have ran 30 km and what is 12 km more! Start congratulating yourself and others around you. Use whatever thoughts in your mind to keep you moving! Think about a nice plate of Big Breakfast, Nasik Lemak, Laksa, Prata or whatever that can helped you to move on!
It’s finishing! Concentrate on your race plan, stick to it and FOCUS!
As you are running towards the finishing line, pick up your pace and run through the finishing chute! As you passed the line, make sure you give a cool finisher pose for the photographers!
This is the BEST MOMENT of your life! Runners get emotional after they crossed the finishing line. Believe me, some even cried! It’s either they accomplished their first marathon, or dedicate this to their love ones, or beating their personal best timing. For whatever reasons you deserve this very moment!
Do not stop immediately at the finish line. Continue run or walk to collect your well deserved medal and finisher t-shirt! Stopping immediately may cause congestion at the finish line or it may even cause you to be trampled over by the incoming finisher.
Once you collected your prize, do some cooling down exercise to allow your blood pressure to return to normal. If you stop abruptly and sit down, it can cause rapid drop in blood pressure, possible fainting, leg cramps and nausea. Do not stretch especially after a marathon. It may cause further injury to your exhausted muscle.
Go for a short massage as it may relax your leg muscle. Ice your sore muscles to prevent swelling. Drink as much fluid especially those that rich in electrolytes. Continue drink water at least a glass every hour or two throughout the day until your urine is light coloured.
And it’s time to execute your recovery plan!
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