7 marathon mistakes you don’t want to make

Running a marathon can be one of the most satisfying things you’ll ever do. Yes it’s hard work and yes it can be gruelling, but you feel so good on passing that finish line it’s no wonder people get hooked. Some run marathons every year, others even more frequently. But however experienced you may be it is still important to do it right. To help you avoid common pitfalls here are seven important tips, from protecting your skin (and not worrying about any petroleum jelly side effects when you do) to how to prepare in the week before.

Being under prepared

Under preparation is perhaps the most common and some would argue, the worst mistake a marathon runner can make. Not sticking to a regular, tried and tested marathon plan in the weeks leading up to the big day can mean your body just isn’t ready to take on this mammoth task. It’s no fun for anyone to be in pain or unable to continue because training hasn’t gone well. Make sure you know what you are doing when it comes to training and get expert advice if needs be.

Not protecting your skin

Skin condition is surprisingly important when it comes to marathon running. There’s nothing like being distracted by sores on your feet or chaffing on your thighs. To avoid this it’s worth getting some petroleum jelly and applying liberally to dry skin patches before heading out for a run. Some people worry about petroleum jelly dangers, but Vaseline goes through a triple-purification process to remove impurities, and it’s actually a pure and safe product to use, being even recommended by dermatologists as appropriate to use on dry and sensitive skin. There aren’t any known petroleum jelly side effects either, so it’s unlikely to cause a reaction, which makes it really a runner’s best friend!

Exercising too much the week before

Rather than under preparing, some people over prepare and this can be just as bad. Doing too many practice runs the week before marathon day can mean your muscles are overly tired and unable to carry you through the full 26 and a bit miles. Instead, make sure to do your last run a good few days beforehand and concentrate after that on rest and carbs.

Not drinking on the run

Dehydration on a big run is an absolute no, no. This can affect your performance and more importantly, seriously damage your health. While training practice how much to drink and when. Find what works for you and replicate this on the day.

Not pacing yourself on the run

After months of training when you’re standing on that starting line it can be tempting to run as fast as you can from the get go. This is another common marathon mistake. It’s absolutely vital to pace yourself during the run so you have the energy to get right through to the end.

Ignoring injuries

Whether on race day or during training it’s important to listen to your body and recognise any

budding injuries. Sometimes committed runners don’t want to face a potential problem so ignore that nagging pain in their ankle or shoulder. This will only cause bigger problems down the line. Be sure to get checked out as soon as you feel anything amiss.

Not enjoying yourself

Last, but not least, running a marathon should be an enjoyable experience and taking it too seriously can be the biggest mistake of all. Remember to have fun on the day and take time to enjoy the experience. It may be the only time you run that far in your life so try to savour each step.

Those are our top tips for avoiding any big mistakes during your marathon. Training right and preparing adequately for the big day should ensure you make a respectable time and have an enjoyable experience. Good luck!