Happy New Year!! I wanted to start the new year by sharing some marathon running tips. I brought a little Go Pro camera on my sub 3 hour marathon to discuss the marathon racing process. Many details are being discussed in this video, such as pacing strategies, watch settings, hydration, nutrition, race gear, mindsets, battling tough spots, and much more.
The video may be a bit shaky at points with some wind in the microphone. Below the video is a transcript of the video. All the run details can also be found on my Strava. Hope these tips can help you improve your next marathon!
Video 0:00: Hello I’m Floris Gierman, here in Newport Beach, California. I’m about to run a solo sub 3 hour marathon and I’m bringing a little Go Pro to share a few marathon running tips along the way. Hope you’ll learn a few things.
Today I’ll try to run a 2:57 marathon. That’s a 6:45 min / mile pace or 4:12 min / km pace. I’m trying to have 3 minutes extra there just in case the course is a bit longer when you try to run a marathon, or if you have to zigzag in between people. Its also nice if there is a little room for error in case you get it really tough at the end. Let’s get started here!
Video 0:50: I started my run this morning at 7am. I woke up at 5.30am, that gave me 90 minutes to eat some breakfast, get ready, put all my gear on and have a proper warm up.
Last night I ate a regular dinner of what I normally eat. I wouldn’t try anything different on race day or the day before. I ate a normal dinner with veggies and a steak. It works well for me, I trained with that, and it works good. This morning I just ate 3 baked eggs, with a banana and some water. That’s my magic formula. Try to see what works for you and eat that before your race.
Video 1:46: First mile in 6 minutes 43 seconds, that’s about right on target. A lot of people start very fast, especially at the beginning of the race. They see other people start fast. They have all their race excitement kick in, probably have done some sort of taper so you’re really hungry to run. Start slow! If you shave 1 minute off at the beginning, it might cost you 5 minutes later on if you start cramping.
Video 0:00: I’m running with a water pack. For any marathon race, I always recommend drinking at the aid stations. A water pack is very heavy and I wouldn’t recommend it. But I’m running solo, so it’s the best option. AIRPLANE!!
You might want to practice with some water stations because for a lot of runners it’s new. Try to grab a water without choking. Maybe set up a little table in your front yard, get some weird looks from your neighbors, wondering what the hell you’re doing. But yeh give it a go.
I see a lot of runners wearing very warm clothes. I like wearing not too many warm clothes, I’m rather cool at the beginning, kind of cold even. So later on in the race when I’m properly warmed up, I do not overheat.
This morning it was 44 fahrenheit when I started, that’s 4 degrees Celsius, so that’s pretty cold. So I’m wearing a long sleeve shirt and later I can roll up the sleeves, I’m wearing shorts as well.
Video 3:34: The 4 settings I have up on my watch display are overall time, overall distance, HR and average pace per mile.
3rd mile in 6 minutes 46 seconds. Pace per mile is a great function, it gives you a great idea how you break down each of your miles. You can really tell how you’re on schedule. If you’re trying to run somewhat of an ever split, like right now I’m pretty close in range of my target goal of 2:57, because I’ve run 3 miles around 6:45. Now I just have to keep that going for another 23 miles 🙂
Another great watch setting I’d like to use is the time alert, that was the time alert right there. That way I can tell myself, every 25 minutes I should be taking a gel. When the alarm goes of, it reminds you.
Video 3:34: When there are hills on the course, I try to go not too fast up the hills, so you keep your heart rate under control and not burn too much energy up the hills. When you go down, you can really let go and make up for some of that time. Right now I ran about 7 min / mile up hill and I can run 6:30 min / mile down hill, so use those hills to your advantage.
I have my virtual pacer set to 6:45 min / miles. If I now click here, I can see I’m 6 seconds ahead of my virtual pacer. So especially for further on in the race, you can see if you’re still on goal or not, so it’s a very handy feature.
Every 50 minutes or every hour I take a salt and electrolyte pill, in my mind this helps me against cramping later in the race.
Video 5:57: I think marathons can be split up in 3 parts. The first part is mile 1 to 13, this is really the part where you have to hold back, you’re very excited to race, but just hold back for a bit. Mile 13 to mile 20, is really that getting to work part, focus on your nutrition, focus on your pace and your form. Mile 20 to mile 26 is where the race really starts. Up to mile 20 is really foreplay, then mile 20 and on is where it’s getting to work. It’s the part where people either fall apart, or where people can run through and run a good race. This last part of the marathon is tricky to train and for many runners this is a pretty unknown territory.
Video 5:57: I just passed the half way point in 1:28:26, 4 seconds ahead of schedule. The half way point is always good to give you an idea of where you are, how you’re doing and what you need to be doing the second half. I’m on schedule so we’re going to keep it going.
In a race, don’t try anything you haven’t tried in training. So don’t try any new gear, no new shirts, new shoes, new belt pack or whatever, run what you trained with, so you don’t get any surprises.
Video 7:20: I just finished mile 18 in 6 minutes 44, this is the part where your mind start the play tricks. To run a marathon you have to be strong physically and mentally. Mentally I think is pretty underestimated. When things get tough, I usually start talking to myself and focus on the little things. Run the next mile really good, run to the next aid station and you’ll be fine. Or just little pep talk, like “you’re doing good, come on, you got this!” Anyways, it’s going well, 6:44 last split, let’s see how it goes.
Video 8:00: Mile 20 in 6:47. One thing to accept in advance when you run a marathon is that you are going to hit tough spots. At some part your mind is going to start playing tricks. You might start to feel some aching, just take it step by step. Don’t think about the long distance you still have to run. Just think about the next 500 meters or ½ mile and you’re totally going to work through it.
Mile 22 in 6:46, still on schedule for a 2:57 marathon so all good. This is mile 22, the part that is make it or break it. If you feel shit, just smile, laugh, slap a high 5 to a volunteer or someone in the audience, you’ll instantly feel better. So give it a go, smile and keep going!
Mile 24 in 6:45, this is the part of the race where you have to dig deep, this is where you have to go into those reserves and really go for it. 2 miles to go and a little bit.
Mile 26 in 6:46, almost there, so I’m just going to go for it now.
Video 9:20: Yaaaaa, timer stopped, so that was a marathon in 2:56:59, about 1 second off my goal, but I’ll take it!
After my races within 30 minutes I try to eat and drink. I also enjoy taking an ice bath. I know there is no scientific evidence to show really that ice baths help speed up the recovery process, but I enjoy ice baths, so that’s why I’m going to jump into the cold water in a second here. It’s going to be a cold one, AHHHHH. Well, there we have it.
Video 10:16: Marathons can be pretty tough, but at the end of the day it’s all about having fun out there. It’s totally normal to hit some tough spots, everyone has that, it’s just the mind game to get over that. As I said earlier, break the race up in little chunks and take it piece by piece. The most important part is to have fun out there. You trained really hard, believe in your training! Go out there and do it. It’s totally normal that things start messing with your mind, just stay calm and go out there and have a good time, enjoy the journey.
Hope you guys enjoyed this video. Check out my blog flotography.com for more videos and articles. I’ll be posting the Strava details of this run below. Happy 2015, later!!
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A lot of the advice in this video is from trial and error and from my running friends at the Coyotes, especially coaches Jimmy and Kate. If you have any additional marathon racing tips that work well for you or if you have any questions, let me know in the comments below!
You might also enjoy this article “How I trained to run a sub 3 hour marathon“