The “do not do this” marathon preparation guide
You signed up to run a marathon. But you did no training to prepare for running that marathon. Now you’re a day out from the marathon. What can you do? Firstly, and let’s be very clear about this, you have made a mistake. Running a marathon with no training is a terrible idea and you should make up any excuse to get out of it. If you’re still in with no training, here are our survival tips:
See a doctor.
You may not listen to them, but at least talk to them and get a check-up to make sure you are not in a high-risk group for experiencing cardiac complications (a risk of the marathon that should not be underestimated, especially on no training).
The race is long and with no training, you’ll likely find it hard to press through the walls you’ll hit. With that in mind, go slow and pace yourself to last the distance. Don’t be afraid to walk parts if your body is telling you to.
One way to make sure your pace isn’t too fast is to listen to music with a max of 80-100 beats per minute (a moderate track). Making sure the music is also interesting will further help your run as it will distract you from your body and the time of the race. Note, however, not all races allow runners to listen to music, so check that in advance. The sound of silence can be even louder if you were expecting to run accompanied by Rihanna or The Gallagher Brothers.
Find a pacer.
Someone you think looks around the same fitness level as you, and stay just behind them. Be warned: looks can be deceiving, so if they are going too fast for you, peel off and find someone else.
Drink water when your body tells you.
You likely are reading up on all the advice for running a marathon you can at this point, and so will see guides telling you to drink a certain amount of water at a certain time. For you, it’s different. With no training, you should drink and eat whenever your body tells you to. Stick to that rule.
Pack muscle-warming rubs and chafing cream.
They might be the best friends you’ll have ever had in your life.
Other than that, you’re on your own more than most others running the race. See our last few tips for all runners below.
Kit yourself out for success
The importance of high-comfort, high-performance running gear should not be underestimated – both for training and racing. If you’re new to pushing your limits at this kind of distance and mileage, then we recommend a shoe engineered for extra support. Even if you don’t normally need extra support shoe for shorter runs, extra support can help you overcome accumulated fatigue during training and failing muscles come the big day.
Maximum support that’s anything but slow. Our most advanced application of Cloudtec® ever works with the shoe’s unique Speedboard® to propel you forward – through weeks of training and over the line come race day.
The is the ultralight cushioned support shoe for long runs. If you’d like a lighter option come race day without sacrificing support, this is the shoe for you.
Soft to the touch, sweat wicking and so light you’ll forget you’re wearing it. This racing tee also dries extremely fast. Wash it after a morning training run, hang it up and it’s ready to go again the next day.
What to pack on race day (some extra tips and tricks for all runners)
The modern marathon is a well-structured and organized event, usually having an aid and food station every 5-8km along the course. However, some carry less of what you need than others, so read up before you start on what each aid station provides (water, electrolyte drinks, fruit, salt pills, chocolate, massages). Usually, they should have each of these things, but, for the sake of argument, if a race only had water stations, here are the very basics you should have in your pack or pockets for during the race:
- 2 x gel pack (at least, and ideally gels containing magnesium or potassium)
- 2 x protein bars
- 4 x Band-Aids
- 1 x lip balm (can also be used for chafing)
From here, your guide’s complete and it’s all about running the race you’ve been training (or haven’t been training) for, and recovering the best way possible. Luckily, we’ve taken care of that for you too with our our guide on “how to recover from a marathon”. We also recommended reading our piece on “what to expect from your first marathon” to further prepare yourself for the fun that lays 42.2km ahead of you.
Good luck, and as we say, run on clouds!