3 Practical Tips I Learned that Helped Me Survive My First Full Marathon

How was your first running experience?

“One of the hardest decisions you’ll ever face in life is choosing whether to walk away or try harder.”- Ziad K. Abdelnour

I could still vividly remember how it all started.

Making that first step in achieving a healthy lifestyle wasn’t easy for me. It took me a while in order to get to where I am now. That equates to days of hardships and sacrifices.

I had to train myself to wake up early just to do those early routines. I had to live through those days of uneasiness. These habits kept me going.

And the rest is history.

My passion for running got resurrected when I first joined a Fun Run. It officially started in December of 2014. Since then, it became a craze!

Finishing my first ever run was not a joke. While I struggled in this area, it brought me to a lot of realizations. It offered me a great deal of fighting spirit.

Finishing my 16K run was one thing, but making that decision to push it even farther was something else.

Running my first full marathon (Condura Skyway Marathon 2015) is one of the runs I will forever treasure for the rest of my life. I have to commend The Condura Skyway Marathon team for making my experience more memorable and meaningful.

That’s one for the books!

While I made every effort to ensure my first full marathon a success, there are still so many things to learn.

As I looked back on that day, 3 thoughts are clear to me. It is my joy to share them with you.

So here it goes…

1.Keep the Adrenaline Pumping

Keep the adrenaline flowing

A progressive marathon training program served me well in preparation for my first full marathon. It helped me reach certain distances. Having said that, I would always train myself not to stop specially if I think I could still endure to make an extra push.

My personal reason for that is this. The moment I cease( and this is based from actual experience), and so my adrenaline. Although it feels right every time I would finish running, my energy usually tends to go down.

You see, compared to the distance that I used to run, I could have just borne to walk going home. But due to fatigue after training, my energy gets depleted that I would need a ride going home.

While going through my first marathon journey, I noticed some runners sitting on the road to get enough rest. I don’t blame them if their bodies don’t fuel them to still give it a push especially if they’re already suffering from injuries .

However, if your body can still persist to make that extra effort, I suggest that you have to still get your feet at least working.

If you just couldn’t force yourself to run, try to at least walk just to keep yourself active.

There’s no shame in walking.

Many times did I think to reward myself during the run by sitting down, but my mind always reminded me not to do so.

Had I allowed myself to do this, I would have finished the run longer than expected. Or worst, I might not have the energy to endure making it to the finish line.

2. Listen to Your Body

Listen to your body

One advice I got from my sister, Sha Nacino prior to the run was to take it easy. That being said, I need to listen to my body. She may not be a runner, but the wisdom behind that advice was profound.

Most of the time, trying to keep a bad thing from happening is better than fixing it once it has happened.

Listening to your body helps you contemplate whether necessary actions have to be done.

When I got to the 22-kilometer mark, I felt a lot of discomforts. It was as if my calves were starting to cramp. That’s when I gathered myself.

I intentionally looked for the nearest hydration station, grabbed a salt in my pocket and took it with water.

That worked miraculously.

Had I not done it, it would have turned out into something worst. I just couldn’t imagine journeying the next 20 kilometers limping caused by a severe cramp. It could have kept me from finishing the run.

It really pays to listen to your body. It will work out for the best.

3. Sometimes the Best Plan is to Go with the Flow

Photo grabbed from The Condura Skyway Marathon Facebook page
Photo grabbed from The Condura Skyway Marathon Facebook page

I usually don’t have a running buddy when I train.

This doesn’t mean though that I don’t look for one. It’s always better to run with a buddy or with a group. But running alone doesn’t keep me from getting the right motivation.

The presence of thousands of runners during my first marathon boosted not just my energy but also my morale.

However, due to different factors such as fatigue, different paces and the like, there will come a time when you see yourself running alone in a certain area in the marathon field. Literally.

It happened to me.

For hours, I was used to seeing number of runners next to me, but there was one time when there was this huge gap among us.

It was a strange feeling. I felt alone.

In order to get motivated, I had to push harder in order to cover the distance. As soon as I got reunited, I then looked for runner/s who have somewhat the same pacing like mine and I joined them.

That somehow refuelled my energy as theirs were contagious. It was as if they were unintentionally conveying me towards my dream destination.

These practical tips helped me make it to the finish line.

Please know that these are based from my personal experiences. Feel free to apply if it works for you.

Take it easy.

Life is not a race. Just find joy in your every journey.

Would you be so kind to share your journey with me? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

See you at the finish line!

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March Nacino
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March Nacino

March Nacino is known as “The Radical Runner” in the running community. He basically loves to join marathons. When he’s not training for his next big race, he works as a freelance Digital Marketing Specialist helping his clients with their Digital Marketing needs. Follow March at theradicalrunner.com.
March Nacino
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