As Marathon Monday approaches, athletes from all over the country are flying in to race the Boston Marathon for the first time. Thankfully, our Drink Simple Ambassadors bring in a combined 46 years of running Boston, and they were generous enough to share some marathon tips for first timers.
7 Boston Marathon Tips from Experienced Runners:
- “Every mile won't be your best, so don't let a few hard miles ruin your whole race! You've worked hard, now is the time to enjoy yourself!” - Melissa Grip, Drink Simple Ambassador
Melissa has run 4 marathons, with this being her first Boston. She is a part of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge Team, and loves fueling herself in-race with GU Chews, a few peanut M&Ms and Drink Simple Original.
Melissa reminds us that this race is a part of your journey -- a journey to which you have dedicated yourself for many months -- and sometimes years. There are going to be tough miles in the middle, but just remember that the greatest marathon runners, and the eventual winner of every race, have their own tough miles too. Keep a positive mindset during those hard miles, stride forwards toward the memorable miles, and allow yourself to soak in the most enjoyable part of your journey.
- “There's no doubt you can do it if you stay relaxed, pace wisely, and take in your fuel/hydration. It is easy to go out too fast in Boston. Right when you are feeling really tired, everyone will start to wilt around you...consider that your start line -- relax until you get there, and then just focus on getting the job done. Most importantly, don't do anything out of the ordinary (clothing, fueling, hydration, pacing). Believe in your training and in yourself.” - Ted MacMahon, Drink Simple Ambassador
This year will be Ted’s 23rd Boston Marathon. He has run Boston since 1991! He fuels up during the race with 200 calories per hour, with a combination of sodium and different types of sugars. His go-to is Tailwind, which allows him to be nourished without having to actually eat anything.
As Ted stated so wisely, you have already prepared yourself in a natural way, and trained your body to be accustomed to your racing routines -- don’t make drastic changes on race day, as it will confuse your body. Believe in yourself and your prior preparation!
- “Don’t go out too fast. If you can, try to make yourself stay steady the first half and then pick it up the second half, especially the last 10k -- if you feel strong. Dress in layers -- you can throw away extra long sleeve, mittens and hat during the race if you get too hot -- but you can’t get more clothes if you are cold.” - Mary Klene, Drink Simple Ambassador
Mary has run Boston 7 times since 2008. She took a couple of years off to have her kids, and is aiming to break 3 hours this year! Mary likes to fuel up in-race with Drink Simple and UnTapped.
Mary reminds us how unpredictable the Boston weather can be -- something that has made Bostonians such hearty and great people, and such an awesome crowd to be supported by. Be prepared for the worst, and don’t let any nippy weather bite you before the race gets started.
- “Take it slow and enjoy it. The race is crowded at the beginning and people tend to go out too fast. If you have people watching along the course always keep a little in the tank when passing them. With that said, keep a little for the final stretch down Boylston Street to finish strong. No one cares about what you looked like at mile 15-20 but they remember the finish. Enjoy the crowd, the scenery and the other runners who are out accomplishing the same goal. Lastly don't be afraid to walk, as long as you keep moving you are doing good.” - Mark Hagopian, Drink Simple Ambassador
This is Mark’s 13th Boston Marathon. He has been running Boston since 2007, and likes to fuel up pre-race with peanut butter, banana, jerky and some other little snacks. Fun Fact: He is also a police officer in Newton!
The energy of the race will have your adrenaline at an all-time high. As Mark wisely tells us, you can make the emotional adjustment on the line if you internalize this beforehand. When Marathon Monday arrives, just zone in, breathe, relax and pace yourself -- then finish strong!
- “It’s a fabulous experience you will remember for the rest of your life so when you are at the start, take a minute to look around and take it in. Then do again when you are done.” - Kristin Borowski, Drink Simple Ambassador
This will be Kristin’s second time running Boston. Her first race was in 2014, and she describes it as an experience she will cherish forever. As in-race fuel, she likes to take a Gu every 45 mins, and to carry a Drink Simple Maple Water with her.
Kristin reminds us that you have done so much to get here. You’ve put in hundreds of miles and hours of your time into training for this. In today’s fast-paced social world that we live in, we often forget to live in the moment. Now is one of those times to remind yourself to be present, live in the moment, and pat yourself on the back. Your work ethic got you here, and it will carry you through this incredible experience.
- “The key is to be able to work, you need the right fuel! If you’re not hydrated and eating proper nutrition, your body will struggle and be more vulnerable to injury!” - Janytzabell Rodriguez-Ramos, Drink Simple Ambassador
Janytzabell has consistently qualified for and run the Boston Marathon since 2015, and is looking forwards to Marathon Monday 2019! As in-race fuel, she reaches for her Drink Simple pre-mixed with a Orange Mango Nuun -- the combo helps her stay hydrated and replenish her sodium levels.
Janytzabell knows that your body can only do so much on its own. Your training has already been logged, and your muscles are prepared to work on your behalf -- but if you don’t give them the necessary fuel in the week and days leading up to the race, there is a limit to how far your body can take you. In your final days, don’t worry about the miles you put in, the stretching you’ve done, or whether or not you foam-rolled up or down. Focus in on the fuel you put into your body -- It’s a Simple way to support your efforts.
- “Keep smiling and keep focusing on either passing someone or staying with the same person. It helps the miles go by faster. Above all, trust in the training.” - Jennifer Zopp, Drink Simple Ambassador
This will be Jennifer’s first time running Boston -- she actually found out she had qualified on the day her daughter was born in September! Jennifer fuels up in-race with a Honey Stinger gel (vanilla or pomegranate) every 50-70 minutes, and carries a bottle mixed with Drink Simple Maple Water and Tailwind Nutrition.
Jennifer advises us to focus on and to celebrate the small victories throughout the race. Believe in the relentless training that you have already put in -- and trust what you have brought to the starting line when Marathon Monday arrives.
Author: Lauren Kelly Bienko