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My First Quarter Marathon Advice?

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Old 10-01-2008, 03:18 AM   #1
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hi guys! I have signed up for my first quarter marathon (10.55km) in November (November the 2nd to be exact ). I have been following their training programme that is on the marathon website for a few months and thats been going great. Now i was wondering if you had any advice for a first timer?

What do you wish you had known before your first marathon/quarter/half marathon?

Should i wear my own stop watch so i can time my sprints, know how long i have been going for etc?

How do you run and drink at the same time??

Should i wear sunscreen? (it will be mid spring here) I tend to sweat cream out

Thank you in advance!!
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Old 10-01-2008, 07:25 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Iconised Ghost View Post
Should i wear my own stop watch so i can time my sprints, know how long i have been going for etc?

How do you run and drink at the same time??

Should i wear sunscreen? (it will be mid spring here) I tend to sweat cream out
Your first big race, how fun!! The closest we have in the states is the 10K, I've never heard of a "quarter marathon". Here's my 2 cents:

I've always worn my own watch and logged my splits at every mile, so I could track my pace. Some races have timers along the course to track your progress, so it depends on your race organization. If you care about your completion time, then a watch helps. If you are just looking to finish strong, then it doesn't matter so much. The most important thing is not to go out too fast !!! That is so easy to do, and then you may poop out mid-way. You want to stick pretty close to your training pace at the beginning, and then pick it up midway if you still have gas in your tank. 10K is a respectable distance, and it's important to pace yourself.

How do I run and drink at the same time -- I can't !! I choke and get water up my nose. It's not pretty. I walk through the water stops to get a drink. Yes, the running "purists" may scoff at this, but at least I get hydrated and it also gives my legs a momentary break. I find it doesn't slow me down overall.

Sunscreen -- it depends on your conditions and race timing. Our races are typically very early in the morning, so the sun isn't too much of a factor and I usually don't bother with sunscreen. I often wear a hat to shade my eyes. If the race was going to be mid-day, then I probably would wear sunscreen.

Here are few other tips:
-- Don't do anything new on race day ... no new foods the night before and no new food/drink just before or during the race. Stick with what you know your body handles well. No new clothes or shoes either, or you might find yourself in chafe-city.
-- If your race is early in the morning, lay out everything the night before: clothes, race number, etc. That way you won't stress in the morning about finding everything.
-- Don't start out too fast!! Yes, I know I said that before, but it bears repeating. And everybody tends to do it anyway.
-- And most of all, have fun!!

Good luck ...
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Old 10-01-2008, 08:42 AM   #3
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MBN gave all the great tips I would give, so I'll just say GOOD LUCK and HAVE FUN!
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:17 PM   #4
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thanks guys

the race is providing a "champion chip" to record my time, but its just a chip you put on your shoe. So a watch might be a good idea. Is there anything that i can get like watch that will tell me how far ive run? I've tried to run and drink, but instead of going up my nose it doesnt make it into any orrifice at all

My race is at 7am so i should be sweet for sunblock, and just go with the hat.
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Old 10-02-2008, 09:33 AM   #5
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Most longer races will have mile markers displayed so that you'll know how far you've gone (and still have to go!). You can calculate your desired split times before the race and carry them with you and use a regular sport watch to keep yourself on pace. I'm trying to find an online split time calculator that works and will allow you to print out your desired splits... you can google and try them out yourself.

Or, you can get something like what I have, a Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS personal trainer: https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=349 This baby is the love of my life.
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Old 10-02-2008, 09:38 AM   #6
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For splits, here is a nice calculator for marathon/half marathon http://www.washrun.org/forum/marsplits.html that shows you what I'm talking about. I haven't found a good one that works well for 10k yet....
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Old 10-02-2008, 10:38 AM   #7
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I know that you'd like to know your time / pace and all that, but please don't put too much pressure on yourself to achieve a particular time. Races are so very different than training runs. And so much depends on that day's conditions -- weather, how you feel, terrain, etc. Especially for your first race, just go out to see how you do and have fun with it. This is your "baseline" time to measure yourself against in the future, an automatic Personal Record! (PR)

And .. races can be habit forming!! The nervous warm up time (all the while wondering WHY did I sign up for this, am I NUTS) ... hitting the porta-potty one last time ...the count down ... the gun firing and everyone taking off ... going out too fast (!) .... settling back into a sustainable pace .... hitting that point where it gets hard and you have to dig down inside yourself to keep it going ... then the end in sight ... and then crossing the finish line to cheering crowds !!! (or at least one or two people clapping) No matter how long it takes you to get there, the act of crossing the finish line can be a life-altering experience. The feeling of accomplishment, the exhilaration and exhaustion of the finish ... is something you have to experience for yourself. And THAT is what makes it worth while. To test yourself, and see what you have inside you, that day.
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Old 10-02-2008, 10:46 PM   #8
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that gadget looks so cool i love gadgets, but on a student budget its probably cheaper to get my 20 year old baby G watch battery replaced haha. Thanks for the website, i'll check it out and try to work out my split times.

MBN: i dont really have a strict goal about what time i want to achieve, as long as im under 3 hours because thats when they stop timing you I should be able to do that easy. Its just that i tend to run for 20 mins, walk for 5, run for 20, so knowing how long i've been going for helps me not to be too harsh on myself, but not be too slack either ^_^ You make races sound so exciting!
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Old 10-09-2008, 04:53 PM   #9
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Hi Iconised Ghost, I'll be running my first 10K on the same day, November 2. Though I've done a lot of 5K's this is the first longer one for me. We will be running across the Ben Franklin bridge in Philadelphia, and it's for my 50th birthday (which is a couple of weeks later). I have done the distance in practice so I know I can make it but I'm anxious to see how it is in a real race. My goal is to run as I feel strong and see what happens, and enjoy the experience. It's encouraging to think someone else will be doing the same thing on the same day (though with the time difference you will be finished long before me!). Good luck! Happy running!
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Old 10-09-2008, 10:33 PM   #10
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whoa that is so spooky! its so cool when things like this happen I havent done the distance before, even in training, but i have managed to do 7.55km in 60 mins in training, i think i will be ok on the day. And i have still have time Good luck to you too!
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