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10.000 MètresDaniel Balavoine
00:00 / 04:20

My 1st advice for a 1st Marathon

Finishing a marathon is not the preserve of a minority of athletes. On the contrary, well prepared, with no time objective, the marathon is within the reach of many. Keep in mind that the main objective of his 1st marathon is to finish it!

Relieve the pressure of the stopwatch even if you have a time in mind and keep it for your second participation ...


Before :

Your preparation must include solo training, which will allow you to develop your endurance and better know your own feelings. But group sessions will be very beneficial: they will be stimulating, in particular for understanding speed work and qualitative work will be better; take advantage of these convivial moments and the experience of others to recharge your batteries and experience each other.


A training program must be personalized . Our schedules, physical and physiological characteristics, desires ... are different. A coach can help you create it.

Vary your efforts . You can replace a running session with swimming or cycling, less traumatic and just as good for a marathon effort. Remember to strengthen your abdominal belt , so important in running, even 5 minutes a day is enough, in the office or in front of the television!


Do not cancel a session that you had planned due to bad weather or average sensations. It is also by "forcing yourself to" that you will forge your mind , and you will need it on D-Day.


During :

No need to burden yourself with a belt containing energy gels, the supplies are always well stocked. For food on a race whose duration is reasonable like a marathon I prefer basic sweet products : bananas, dried fruits, chocolate squares and water (sometimes cut with coca). I avoid gels or other food and ecological heresy. Replace them with simple pieces of brown or white sugar, just as effective ... If the effort is longer I also take salty foods.


D-Day stay focused on your run without worrying about the pace of others; avoid rhythm changes by overtaking someone who seems to slow you down and who, on the contrary, will make you accelerate. Every unnecessary effort will pay off at some point.


If all the lights are green halfway, do not ignite, it may not last!

Just keep your pace. On the contrary, if the sensations are bad, that "everything is bad", tell yourself that it will be better within a few kilometers. The rule: always put extreme sensations into perspective.


Be measured and careful in the effort. Better to cross the finish line in good condition with the frustration of not having given everything rather than broken and disgusted with discipline . In the first case, you will have room for improvement and the dynamics will be positive for the rest, while in the second case, you will no longer want to put on sneakers for a while…

With good preparation, on the day of the race, remember that it is above all your head that will decide if your legs can still support an effort. So spare your mind first!

Build up a mental catalog of positive images or moments of joy, they will be useful for you during delicate moments. You can occupy your mind in a thousand ways. For example, I sometimes do mental arithmetic.


And above all take pleasure, from the start until your triumphal arrival where you can savor!


© 2020 G. Charbonneau

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