Avoid making these all-too-common marathoner mistakes:
1. I started way too fast
being swept up by the crowd and the adrenaline, your first kilometers might go deceptively easy. This was the case at my marathon debute. My first 5k were above my limits. Consequently a start like that has a crash and burn effect. By kilometer 20 I was exhausted and I wasn't able to 'enjoy' the rest of the race.
I didn't have a pace strategy, I didn't even knew what my comfortable pace was?!
How to avoid:
Having even a basic pace strategy can avoid all these issues. For most beginner and intermediate marathon runners, planning to run even splits is the most effective and straight-forward pace strategy. Decide your target pace in advance and stick to it on race day.
Extra: Trained atletes run a 'negative split', meaning the second half is faster dan the first.
2. I didn't fuel properly
During my marathon trainings, I never felt the need to fuel on-the-run. This because most of those runs were under two hours and done at a feasible pace.
However, during the race, you want to maximize your performance potential. To do this, you simply need fuel.
Carbs are the best source of energy you need for any kind of endurance sports. For me it was an absolute gamechanger when I re-welcomed carbs into my diet.
Many marathon runners simply don’t fuel properly. They don’t know what to take, how much to take, or when to take it. Basically it all comes down to this: the body is a machine that needs fueling. Train your eating in advance and experiment with pre-run and on-the-run fueling, and once you establish what you can handle, stick with what works. I recommend taking one energy gel 15 minutes before the start line, a then one every 45-60 minutes of the race.
3. I wore a brand new outfit
Of course you want to shine on the big day, but do try your race outfit at home.
Lesson learned: If you didn't train with it, you don't race with it. Choose a well-worn running outfit that you're used to, to ensure your attire wont surprise you with issues like chafing or itching.