What to Expect When You’re Expecting…To Run 26.2 Miles
Whether it’s your first time lining up to run 26.2 miles, or you’re an experienced runner, getting to the start line always comes with a wave of emotions. Your training cycle, your preparation, even your pre-race breakfast; it all comes together at that starting line.
At that start line, you should expect to feel nervous, excited, anxious, and pumped. Some of those emotions will be stronger than others, but the presiding thought will be about the same. You’re going to run a Marathon.
Those first few miles you’re going to be so excited, and you should be!! But don’t let that get the best of you from a pacing standpoint. Stick to your plan, ease off the gas a little, and don’t get swept up in a fast start. It can be weird letting lots of people pass you right out of the gate. But let them go, you’ll see them again.
By the 5 mile mark, you should be settled into your race pace and race plan. You should be feeling smooth, comfortable, and full of energy. You’ve probably taken your first gel by now (if you haven’t, you should soon!) and are easing into the day.
As you approach the Halfway point, you should still be feeling good. That pace you’ve been holding should still feel comfortable. You’re enjoying the course, the crowds, and have been feeling strong all day!
Once you’re getting around the 18-22 mile mark, you may start to feel some fatigue. Heck, you’ve been running for hours, so that’s understandable. It’s important to stay focused, keep fueling and drinking, and push forward. Things might be getting tough, but you’re almost done! Just a moderate 6-8 miles to go, that’s all!
The finish line is coming up! You’re going to finish!! Give it all you’ve got down that final stretch, and CELEBRATE as you cross that finish line. You’ve done it! Marathon. Finisher.
Wear your medal with pride. Have a seat, you’ve earned it. Drink some water, gatorade, or some other post race beverage of your choosing. Celebrate with your family, friends, and supporters. You’re a marathoner.