Common Marathon Mistakes Athletes Must Avoid
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The marathon is the ultimate goal of every runner but how do you approach it?
You should definitely avoid these 5 common mistakes:
1. Started too fast beyond your normal pace
The ideal example. Anyone who believes that a fast first kilometer in a marathon will allow them to edge out their target pace is gravely mistaken. Every runner loses these seconds advantage at the very least two or three times into the second half marathon distance. You are tempted to run too fast, especially in the first two or three kilometers. On the marathon course, the starting field is inspired by the thousands of runners around it. The temptation is very great to set the pace (unconsciously) too high due to the roaring applause of the spectators and the mass of runners. Already ten seconds on the first kilometers can be enough to shoot the powder for the hot marathon phase (from km 30). A look at the clock at km 1 should therefore not be avoided under any circumstances. If the pace is already a few seconds too fast,
Incidentally, most of the fastest marathon times in the world are all run with negative splits. This means that the second half of the marathon is run faster than the first.
2. From today to tomorrow prepare very well and don’t skip a training session
Marathon is a long-term project, especially if it’s your first. A twelve-week preparation is rarely sufficient – because it is only the final preparation for the goal. It is quite possible that this is sufficient if the necessary bases for the target time are in place. But if you have never run a half marathon three months before a marathon or cannot run the desired marathon pace over the half marathon distance, you should not have too many expectations for the big day. A successful marathon requires a base of endurance, 12-14 weeks of specific preparation, and being in top form on the right day. The training plans often offered on the Internet can only show the last twelve weeks before the peak, but cannot catch up on missed basic training.
3. Pre-marathon nutrition is very important
The marathon knows no mercy and demands all reserves from the runner. The body’s energy stores should therefore not be empty before the start. This is especially true for carbohydrate depots. Fill up these stores as much as possible in the last two weeks before the marathon. Nutritional experiments are absolutely taboo. Also, plan your last meals before the marathon. With a start at 9:00 a.m., a small breakfast should be eaten at 6:00 a.m.
4. Too little sleep prior to race day
The daily routine of a top athlete: “train-eat-sleep”. The latter component is often underestimated by non-professionals. You can only use your full performance potential—in both training and competition—if you have enough regeneration. Five to six hours of sleep per night in the final few nights before the marathon can significantly hurt performance. It’s crucial to get enough sleep the week before the competition.
The night before a marathon, almost all runners experience poor sleep. On the other hand, this is quite normal, since you are excited and usually go to bed very relaxed. The nights before are much more important. The time between these should allow for at least seven to eight hours of sound sleep.
Similarity: Getting a good night’s sleep is beneficial!
5. No or too many competitions before your race
A lot of competitions throughout the marathon training can degrade the quality of the workouts. Prepare for your competitions thoroughly. Of course, running one or two half marathons could help you evaluate your existing performance and boost your confidence. However, too many quick contests take away at least one weekend from dedicated marathon training.
A lack of competition practice, on the other hand, can also have a negative effect on the marathon, especially for novices. Aspiring marathoners are completely overwhelmed by the situation on day. Thousands of people, many spectators and organisational effort cause high stress, which the runner cannot cope with.