Running a Marathon is both exciting and scary, Relax! We’ve listed down the top things that might scare you and tips on how you can overcome them.
Top Marathon Fears and How To Overcome Them
1. What if I’m the last to finish?
How to overcome this: Unless you walk all the way, it’s unlikely that you’ll be the last to finish among hundreds (or thousands) of runners. And remember that deciding to join a marathon, training for it, and actually doing it is already an accomplishment. Not everyone can say they have done it, so be proud of yourself for having the courage to even start!
2. What if I need to use the bathroom?
How to overcome this: It would help if you don’t hydrate too much before the race. Also make sure you empty your bladder before race start.
If you’re scared that your stomach might feel funny, have your breakfast at least 90 minutes before the race for proper digestion. Avoid high-fiber foods and don’t try new sports drinks or energy gels on race day – your stomach might not used to them yet, and might cause unpredictable reactions.
Remember that it’s okay if you really need to use the bathroom, don’t worry about your race time that much – what’s even more uncomfortable is stopping yourself from doing so.
3. What if I get injured?
How to overcome this: Prior to your marathon, be consistent with your training and learn how to run injury-free.
On race day, pay attention to your body and heed the warning signs. Don’t push your body even if you already feel pain, this will only make the condition worse.
4. What if my feet get blisters, or my skin gets chaffed?
How to overcome this: Prevent chaffing by rubbing petroleum jelly on body parts that would normally chafe, such as your feet, inner thighs, underarms, sports bra lines (women), and nipples (men).
Avoid blisters by making sure your shoes fit properly, and have been broken in before the race. Wear socks made from synthetic fabrics to keep moisture away from your feet; cotton socks can bunch up around your ankles and might cause blisters.
5. What if I get cramps?
How to overcome this: Adapt your body to the distance you want to race – so if you’re doing a 42K, run longer distances during training.
On race day, have an electrolyte-rich drink with you to replace the salts that your body loses while sweating. Salt sticks and salt tablets can help, but make sure you have practiced using them prior to race day.
6. What if I don’t finish?
How to overcome this: To paraphrase that famous line from The Hunger Games: The odds are in your favor. It’s more likely that you will finish the race – think positive! Focus on things you can control like your training and pre-race preparations.
But if conditions beyond your control affect your run and you end up not finishing your Full Mary, cheer up. The bright side is there will always be other races, and you know what to expect next time. Just keep on running!
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