42k Do’s and Don’ts – before Running a Marathon

In this article, we will discuss some key do's and don'ts for running your first marathon. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that you are physically and mentally prepared for the race, and that you are able to complete it safely and successfully.


Running a marathon is a challenging and rewarding experience, but it’s important to approach it with the right mindset and preparation. In this article, we will discuss some key do’s and don’ts for running your first marathon. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that you are physically and mentally prepared for the race, and that you are able to complete it safely and successfully.

42K Do’s:

  1. TRAIN TRAIN TRAIN! – a marathon is not easy, this requires time and dedication in training.
  2. Not worry about the time. Enjoy your race, and believe you can finish this.
  3. This is the most expensive race you’ll ever pay, so enjoy the experience!
  4. You must have at least finished a 32k run in your training runs.
  5. Wake up 3 hours before the race.
  6. Eat breakfast 2 hours before the race. Take in one energy gel 15 mins before gun start.
  7. Train with your nutrition system. Your body must get used to the energy gels you plan to bring. Tip: go with same brand, use different flavors. On race day, schedule the times you take in your nutrition.
  8. Rest 1 week before the race. This is the best part.
  9. Make sure you have at least 7 – 9 hours of sleep during your rest week. Crucial is the last 2 nights before race day.
  10. Apply Bodyglide or petroleum jelly in areas where chaffing occurs.
  11. Maintain your pace. If you must walk, then walk! There’s no shame in walking in a marathon.
  12. Smile in front of the camera and raise your hand when you cross the finish line! Tip: practice your finish line pose.
  13. Wear comfortable racing gear, sunglasses, visors etc.,

42K Don’ts:

  1. Procrastinate training. Follow your training plan.
  2. Drink alcohol during your rest week.
  3. Overeat breakfast on race day.
  4. Eat spicy food 2 days before the race.
  5. Eat oily foods the night before race.
  6. Think you can wear the extra shoes and the extra singlet
  7. Try anything new on race day (shoes, socks, singlet, shorts, etc..) make sure you have road tested what you are wearing.
  8. Overhydrate. You don’t want to be bloated for the next 30 kms! Take in your hydration systematically. Balance your energy gel, sports drink, water intake.
  9. Race the first 32k. Race the last 10k! This is where the runners and the marathoners are separated.

Additional post Marathon tips:

  1. After crossing the finish line, it is a MUST that you take in at least 500 calories of food. Your body will start to recover, and it needs the calories to start repairing. Best recovery drink: CHOCOLATE MILK or a Protein Shake! Do this also after your long training runs, even after your 15-21k races. There is a 30 minute window to do this, otherwise if you don’t you won’t recover faster. A good recovery is a good training/race.
  2. Try to do a short recovery run a day or two after the race. This is to flush out the lactic acid that has accumulated.
  3. The best benefit of finishing a marathon? Is eating so much and not gain a single weight! But be careful of what you eat.
  4. You can start training again after 2 weeks of recovery period. If you still find it hard to run, don’t just stop being active. I highly recommend doing low impact training. Swimming, biking, boxing, kayaking, etc… one that does not involve pressure on the knees.
  5. If you feel sluggish, and unmotivated. Do tip #4. Take a break from running and pick your next race. Take it slow. You can start enjoying the short races… 5k, 10k, 15k and 21k races. Try to beat your PR’s.
  6. Lastly, this is not a sport, it’s a lifestyle.


  1. I know its not easy to go on a marathon, thats i why i needed more time for my training and i want to improve my pace in every races i will join,im taking it slowly and make sure not to skip each category. Will take my 32k on RU3 so wish me luck.Will train hard on a 21k marathon when i get my sub2 or less then will level up to a higher category.Thanks for the info.

  2. this article is indeed really helpful esp to aspiring marathoners. many thanks for plucking this topic out from the Comm Forums, Mr. PF!

    and credits go to Mr Mikey Macainag, your very good friend/trainer/seasoned marathoner who did not hesitate coming up with these tips upon my request.

  3. My 1st marathon was this years Condura Marathon. Akala ko hindi totoo un wall, dati di ako naniniwala dun tapos bumanga ako sa wall! Totoo ang wall! Mag ingat sa wall! Wag bumilis agad mag negative split also wag mag kulang sa gel at lalo na sa training! Happy Training!!!

  4. Never in my wildest expectation that I can ran & finished 26.2 miles….at aged 60 the free Press Detroit International Marathon on October18,2009,Detroit,Michigan,USA.The moment your physical capabilities starts breaking down at miles 19 to 21,( called “the walls” in Marathon running)….stop,walk & do some funny stuffs…like doing the “Michael Jackson moves”…infront with expectators….you’II find yourself more amusing & appreciated…more than the rest & at the same time,regaining your mental “toughness & focus”.Everyone are different……be creative reserving that remaining strives to the finish line!!!.

  5. Not ready for the FM but i’ll take it also for me to prepare my 3rd half FM.
    thanks for the post.

    May mga Dont’s ako na nagagawa now i know na bad yun. hehehe!

    ayuzz din yung additional tips!

  6. Thanks for the post,.
    This is true and effective.. Proper training ,conditioning and Discipline are the best thing to do for preparation for the race and to get rid away from further injuries.. RUn safe and be wise.. godbless runners!

  7. How far off should be the period between marathon? I’m planning to sign up for my first fm on rupm this october but i also want to do condura next year. I’m just not sure if it is safe to do both

    • There’s no rules that I know off but they say 2 marathons a year is the max if you want to perform better, My first marathon is October 2012. I run my 8th marathon just last Saturday 21st of September after running another one on the 14th of September. Not a good idea to do 2 marathons in 2 weeks, but glad that I did it. I am a slow runner and really don’t aim for the time but more on the enjoyment and endurance of the sport. So if you can have 18 weeks gap you should be fine … for me 3 weeks rest will be fine, I just keep in my mind that it will just be another long run. If you will ask why I am doing too much, I am training for a back2back in February means 2 marathon in 2 days. keep on running.

  8. i had a mild stroke feb 2011 but i’m doing 5k runs now…you think i could train for 21k & eventually do 42? where could i train, if ever?

  9. very nice tips….try ko gawin kasi wala akong masyadong oras para mag train… maraming trabaho…. may ginagawa akong intervals para tumagal ng konte yung pace ko… will try to join the rexona run and 32 k run ng unilab leg 3… in preparation for my 42k …hope mag survive…thank you… its more fun when we run… he he he

  10. Ms_Mars… kita kits uli sa rexona at rununited leg 3 para makuha yung 3rd part ng medal natin… malapit na dalawa na lang…

  11. Tanung ko lang sana if there is such a training for 4 weeks for a full marathon with the objective of finishing the race for 3.5 hours? Salamat ha!

  12. i am an active runner this year meaning i joined fun run almost every other month….. ran three 10Ks; three 16 Ks ( last of which is the adidas kotr ) ran two 21k (ru2 and rexona )…… and will run in ND 25K and 21K qcim this dec 2…….. my question is, is this enough as i would like to run for full marathon this feb 2013……………. any advise? esp for training? i hope the veterans could help..i have 2 1/2 months to prepare…….more power and god bless us all…thanks in advance…

  13. @drukidlat comment 25
    try mong maka training run longer than 32km , slower na konti sa target na pace mo sa first 42km… This must be done before the year ends…

    By january, sa opinion ko lang, mag start ka nang mag baba ng mileage, 21km max first two weeks, tapos mga 15kms na lang sa 3rd at 4th week ng January.

    Ingat sa training at bawal tamad … :-p medyo gipit na sa oras eh.

    I also recommend adding more kms on qcim… pwede namang ituloy ang takbo pagkatawid ng finish line… 25 to 30… para sakto ang 32km mo last 2 weeks ng 2012.

    sana makatulong

  14. this helped a lot, and I have proven one of the “Don’ts” that you listed: wearing anything new in the race. Had a new camelback during my recent 42k, slowed me down during the race bec. of the weight. but, the training payed off and finished strong. could have finished faster if i didn’t bring that bag, but…doesn’t matter. lesson learned

  15. I just run last 2013 Sundown Marathon here in SG I don’t have any training at all but I finished my race (^^,) Just focus, play what best music you want and enjoy the race.

    Go Team Fatbird (^____^)

  16. most of the events i’ve joined, i only ran for 5K categories. i only ran for a 10K once, finishing it in 67 minutes (so shy of it), and i’m planning to go for several 21Ks next year. any tips? how should i train?

  17. Ok to for Sunday kahit half marathon lng :) Gierod Manuel S. Alejandro Carlito Gonzales Ivan Stephen Llarena Jayson Floranda Whanglou Buensalida Thess Valerio Ferrer Beejay Carlo Jao-chico

  18. Goodluck to all 42K 1st timer. Just put your mind and your body into it, BELIEVE that you can do it even if you have to crawl and then savor the satisfaction the moment you crossed that finish line. Let us all enjoy and have a safe run.

  19. 1st tym sa 42. Goodluck po sating mga 1st timers at lalo na sa mga hindi masyado nakapag training like me. No PRs. Enjoy lng ntin! :)

  20. sa mga tatakbo ng first time ng 42 sa sunday tulad ko, good luck mga sir/ma’am. start strong finish stronger! U0001f4aa

  21. Wag ka magduda sa sarili mo. Isipin mo exam lang yan. Kaya mo naman ipasa. Take a rest before the event para di mablackout kinabukasan.. (reminder lang) :) Di ka nag-iisa normal na kabahan bago magmarathon. Kahit 5 beses na ako finisher nun, kinakabahan pa din.. May halong excitement din.. Heheh..

  22. It’ll be my first time and running despite of my plantar fasciitis U0001f62dU0001f62dU0001f62d Good Luck to all of us!

  23. Thanks Joyce! This is it na gid!!! Good luck this weekend!!! Enjoy running for our heroes on the Skyway!!! :)

  24. I think one important item was missed out in the “DOs” segment, which I believe is just as important as the physical and other logistical preparation, and that is the mental preparation. Perhaps that is implied. Mental preparation means understanding your pace when you’re running different distances, be it a 10K or a half-mary, and relating it to how you would possibly run the 42K monster. At which minute or hour mark do I get tired in a 21K race? How do I extrapolate or project that to a 42K++ distance?

    Mental preparation means looking at the map over and over again and memorizing/projecting at which point in the map you could possibly after one hour or two hours. If I finish a 21K at 2.5 or fewer hours, could I possibly finish 42K in 5 hours or just under it? What sort of adjustment in terms of pace should make?

    Mental preparation also continues during the race. Talk to yourself and be aware of where your body and mind are at during the race. I’ve run for 2 hours and I’m just past the 18K mark. Can I still make it? This is where memorizing the route by looking at a map repeatedly and doing a dry run in your head may help. It becomes more challenging if you do not have a physical image or visual representation of far more you need to go before you reach the finish line.

    Running a 32K first as a suggestion is critical because 32K is regarded as the “wall” even professional runners hit when they’re doing 42K. If your body is a battery, bigla kang low batt sa 32K. One way to overcome the wall is having a very good mental preparation


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