If you’re planning on running a marathon today or in the future, read these tips from a veteran marathon runner for all 26.2 miles…
Dr. Pamela Peeke is an internationally recognized expert, physician, author and veteran marathon runner. The leader of The Peeke Performance Center for Healthy Living has run the New York City Marathon and the Boston Marathon in the past and is a pro when it comes to the physical, mental and emotional tools one needs to cross the finish line after those long 26.2 miles.
We reached out to Dr. Peeke for marathon techniques that even the beginner marathon runner can use to get through the miles.
“For any marathoner, whether it’s your first or your 50th, we all know it’s 80 percent mental, 20 percent technical,” Dr. Peeke said. Particularly for the more experienced runners who have trained endlessly for the big day, “you already know you’re going to finish it,” she added. “The question is, A) are you going to have fun doing it and turn it into an adventure? And B) are you going to be smart?”
Click through the slideshow below to read more of Dr. Peeke’s tips for getting through your first – or 50th – marathon:
- Pace the Race
On race day, after you've crossed the starting line, choose a buddy. If you're running by yourself and it's your first race, pick someone who's running at your pace and keep up with them. You don't even have to talk to them - although saying "hi" and making conversation may actually help you get through the race. "Just say ‘hey, I’m running your pace, I’m feeling really good,’ and you could make a friend."
- Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter!
When starting the race, use what Dr. Peeke calls "the peanut butter sandwich trick." When you make a sandwich, you spread the peanut butter evenly across the bread; don't glob it all up in one place. "The same thing goes for a marathon – you have to spread your energy out evenly as best you can, knowing of course, as soon as you hit a half marathon, you’re going to get a bit kooky."
"First timers get carried away with the big crowds, everyone running quickly … don’t get caught up in that. Just keep thinking to yourself 'peanut butter, peanut butter' …and by the time you reach half-marathon distance, you’ll be grateful."
- Proper Nutrition
"The best thing of all is to put peanut butter on a banana, or peanut butter on whole wheat bread." Also throw in some fruit; too much protein will weigh heavily in your stomach. Sustainable, high-quality fats and carbs can be eaten the night before, but there's no need to carbo-load on pasta. A little bit of pasta, some grains or brown rice "works like a charm."
- Enjoy the Scenery
One of the greatest things about the New York Marathon is the chance you get to run through all five boroughs and experience all the different flavors and cultures that make those areas distinct from each other - all part of what Dr. Peeke calls a "magnificently awesome experience." People will be out on the streets playing music, cheering you on - get caught up in it and have fun!
"Get distracted by all of this and next thing you know, another 5 miles has gone by." But part of the mental game runners get caught up in is to look for each for mile markers to see how much further you have to go. Don't play the "but" game, Dr. Peeke warns. "Replace all the 'buts' with 'ands' in your head ...think 'AND I'm doing great,' not 'BUT I have 10 more miles'" to go.
- Layers, Layers, Layers
Layer, layer, layer. Sunday's weather forecast is calling for 50 degrees and sunny - great weather for running. "You're going to have fantastic weather. Enjoy the sun but remember to wear your peeling clothes," Dr. Peeke says.
If you start with more layers than you need, you can peel the layers off as you run and leave the layers behind. Go buy some cheap sweat or workout pants, long-sleeved shirt, and gloves that you won't care about leaving behind; all of those clothes are then donated to the homeless.
Click on each picture for an enlarged photo.
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