by Cole

My First Marathon and 5 Tips for First-timers

This past June I got to run the Lanzhou International Marathon, my first time running in a race above 5 miles!

Running a marathon challenges you both physically and mentally as you try to complete the 26.1 mile endurance race.

To be honest running the race was really tough, I was extremely tired and sore afterward, but looking back it was very much worth it! It was a great way to end my time in Lanzhou before finals and returning to the US, and I now have a very strong bond with the others from the running club who ran the marathon, knowing we overcame this challenge together

Here are a few tips if you are thinking about running a marathon:

1. Your goal should be to finish safely and have fun along the way

Especially for your first time running a full or half marathon, enjoy the experience and run at a pace safe for you.

2. Run with a friend or group of friends

When you have friends to run with, it helps to keep you motivated and makes it a more memorable experience. Just look how much fun they are having!

3. Stick to your pace, don’t start out too fast

Even though other people warned me against this, Because of the huge crowds both participating and watching the marathon, I was full of adrenaline and started out faster than my pace should have been, and ended up fading later on.

4. Stick to your training plan

I started off doing really well on my training plan, but then after training for a month or so, I changed my training to prepare for a much different athletic event, and then resumed marathon training after the event.  This ended up setting me back a decent amount. When you want to decide to run a marathon, stick to it and don’t get distracted from your goal!

5. Run a half marathon first

This picture was from the Kong Tong Mountain 5-mile run. It was a ton of fun, but would have been nice to have another, longer race leading up to the full marathon.  A half marathon is a great benchmark to have along the way, and will also help you get used to the atmosphere of a large-scale running event.

Think you’re up for the challenge? The IMT Des Moines Marathon will be held on October 15, 2017. Check out the IMT Des Moines Marathon website for details on the 5k, 5 mile race, half marathon, and full marathon.

There’s likely not enough time to prepare for the full or half marathon, but consider the 5K or 5-mile race as an icebreaker to start on your way to running a marathon!

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