We Asked Marathon Runners For Their Best Advice

With all this great advice, you’re all set to run your first (or 20th) marathon! Some more great advice? You could save 15% or more on car insurance by switching to GEICO.

Courtesy of Andrew K.

“Anyone can do [a marathon] if you convince yourself you can!” —Casey C.

“[Training has] been a great way to stay in shape, but it’s also an amazing life hack to carve out some me time. I usually listen to books on tape and feel really productive, but sometimes I just bump Diana Ross and love everything.” —Jen W.

“It’s two races: a 20 miler and a 6 miler.” —Nick H.

Courtesy of Nikki Bent

“Bring some wet wipes to wipe off the salt on your chafed skin…you’ll be way more comfortable!” —Andrew K.

“Go see an osteopath a few weeks before to make sure everything is in place. A slight pain before the race will be agonizing after.” —Benoit C.

“This may be obvious, but switch off between two pairs of shoes during training, or else at mile 19 the bottom of your feet will feel like they are burning!” —Maggie S.

“If you have any supporters, around the 30th km is the best place for them to be. (That is when it is the hardest.)” —Lisa C.

“Listen to your body. It’s okay to take a day off [training] if you need.” —Leah D.

Courtesy of NBC Universal / Via letsfeelbetter.com

“If you’re in a new city [for the marathon], you shouldn’t do the tourist circuit the day before the race…as hard as it can be to stay in.” —Andrew K.

“Lube the toes! To prevent blisters.” —Chrissy K.

“Enlist your cheer squad to go to the less-frequented spectator spots along the route (that’s where you’ll need them the most!), and body tat yourself with your name so that people will cheer for you.” —Jenny M.

“Drink and eat a bit at every aid station — you’ll regret it a few kms after if not!” —Lisa C.

“Mentally break your long training runs up into small chunks. So if you’re running 16 miles, think about it like you’re running four miles four times, and at the end of each chunk, give yourself a small reward, like an energy gel or your very favorite song. (Or stop for a minute to take a sweet, sweaty selfie!)” —Tory H.

“I like to have a family member standing at the halfway point with a bottle of whatever I’m drinking that race (usually a meal shake).” —Andrew K.

Courtesy of Adam Kelleher

“Understand your pace and stick to it. You’ll be super psyched and feeling great on race day, but running too fast too early is a path to bonking.” —Nick H.

“Three words: new fitted shoes.” —Joanna K.

Courtesy of NBC Universal / Via wondereacts.tumblr.com

“Tape your name on your shirt to get encouragement from the spectators. Do not iron it on, [because] eventually you won’t want to hear from them anymore.” —Nick H.

“If you have someone meeting you at the end of the race, ask them to bring flip-flops. Nothing feels quite as good as getting out of those socks.” —Andrew K.

“Run with friends. Train with friends, marathon with friends. They’ll make you laugh when you want to cry and encourage you to keep going. And don’t take yourself too seriously — smile, have fun, and be proud!” —Michaela S.

29. GEICO’s advice? Have fun! Celebrate 20 years of running at a Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon near you.

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