Lots of people have run marathons, which means that lots of people have opinions on the best way to run a marathon. Whether you’re lining up for your first or your hundredth, there will certainly be someone before your race who will share their pro tip with you. Here’s a list of common “pro tips” that aren’t actually so pro.
A low-carb diet is ideal for training
If you’re training for your first marathon, it’s not recommended to also start depleting your carbohydrate stores. If you’re a seasoned veteran and you’re seeking professional help, that’s one thing. But taking on a low-carb diet while also significantly increasing your mileage is a recipe for disaster.
You don’t need to do a long run
Yes, yes you do. In fact, the weekly long run is probably the most important aspect of your training. Your weekly long run is the closest you’ll come to simulating your race day experience — it’s a crucial aspect of your training.
You don’t need sunglasses
When you’re running, you’re wasting energy by squinting through the entire race. Beyond wasting energy, running without sunglasses is just uncomfortable when it’s bright.
Don’t carry your own water
There isn’t always water on the course, if you need water, you need to bring water.
You’ve got to try this food product
Do not try anything new on race day. Don’t even look at anything new. Do what you know and what’s worked for you. Even if your friend says that they’ve found the best gel they’ve ever used in their entire life, unless you’ve trained with it, don’t try it on race day.
Start your marathon faster than goal pace
Over-cooking the first quarter of your marathon is dangerous. Unfortunately during a marathon putting “time in the bank” that early on doesn’t usually provide a big pay-off.
Don’t eat anything the morning of your race
You don’t need to hit up a bottomless breakfast buffet the morning of your race but some toast and peanut butter pre-race (or the variation your stomach is used to) is pretty crucial.
There’s no such thing as a bad run
This isn’t true. While we love a positive outlook, if a run is really hurting, stop and get the aching body part checked out before you continue training. Sometimes two or three days off before something gets bad can save you several weeks in the future.