Welcome to the crazy world of running! The Flying Pig this weekend will be my 16th marathon. I've run the Flying Pig half marathon twice and the full once. After numerous races, I still remember the pre-race jitters. If you’re reading this before preparing to run your first half or full marathon, congratulations! If you’re nervous, that’s understandable.
Here are some tips to get you to the "finish swine" this weekend!
- Trust your training. Yes, the distance you’re about to do may be further than you’ve ever gone, but that’s what those training runs you’ve been doing the past few months have prepared you for. The training is a little exhausting, but then tapering starts and you get to have a little less mileage until race day. Plus, when you finish it's an automatic personal record!
- Don’t do anything new on race day. Race day is not the day to try a new gel or to see how you like a shirt. You can sabotage your race this way. Treat long runs as ways to test things out. I like to do a prep run in my gear. That way I can see if something rubs or if my nutrition is adequate.
- Give yourself plenty of time Sunday morning. I lay out my outfit and gear the night before to make sure it's ready to go. Get to your corrals 30-60 minutes early. Why? Roads shut down and you'll want to have plenty of time to use the porta potty.
- Race morning can be cold. If I'm going to be standing around before a race, I will bring an old mylar blanket from previous races or throw away clothes. The Flying Pig donates the clothes to charity!
- Stay hydrated race week and during the race. The Flying Pig can be the first really hot weekend we have, and staying hydrated can help get you through. Try to take a little bit of water at every water stop. Also remember the water stops are lengthy, so pay attention to the order (water first or Gatorade first). It can get congested at the first or second volunteer, so give that whole row some love.
- Imagine that finish line when negative thoughts enter your mind. I try to ignore all negative thoughts. Keep positive mantras in your head. Remember your legs only get you so far. Mental prep is key too!
- Own that post race swagger! If it's your first full, I'd suggest taking Monday as a PTO day. You will need time to recover.
- Plan for post race! Have a meet-up spot for family after you get out of the finishers' chute. You may not be hungry right away, but be sure to take care of yourself.
- If possible try to do a race before the pig. The Heart Mini is what I used to help prep for a race experience before my first half.
- Have fun. I travel all over for races, but the Flying Pig is one of the best. Thank the volunteers and take in your beautiful city!
Are you running in one of the 20th Anniversary Flying Pig Marathon races May 5 & 6? #GetPiggyWith TCH. Go to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook to share how you're getting ready.
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