We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us their best tips for first-time marathoners.
1. Your dinner the night before should be something you know for sure will support your race performance.
2. Make sure you're amply protected against chafing.
3. Don't rely on your phone for tracking and timing your run because you might not have consistent reception.
4. Arrange for a ride home.
5. Pack a pair of comfy, roomy shoes and a pair of socks in your gear bag.
6. Write your name on the front of your shirt and people will call out to cheer you on.
7. Make sure you have a plan not just for water but for replacing the salt you're losing.
8. Don't try anything new on race day, from gels, drinks, and food to clothes and accessories.
9. Stop and walk at the water stops.
10. If you want to dump water over your head at a water stop, be careful AF to miss your feet.
11. FYI some of those cups being passed out on the course contain beer.
12. Make a friend around mile 20 and help each other along.
13. Marathons can be emotional; cry at will.
14. Speaking of getting emotional, do expect to hit the wall at some point. And have a strategy for when all hope drains away.
15. Start getting your sleep, diet, and hydration race-ready at least a week before the race.
16. Make a plan for race day logistics and stick to it.
17. Before race day, check out the course map or drive it if you can.
18. During training, take rest days when your body needs them (even if your training schedule doesn't call for it).
19. Take off your rings and bracelets before your race.
20. Seriously consider running without headphones.
21. Break in new sneakers well before race day.
22. Pin some cash to inside of your shorts for an emergency or Uber home.
23. If you're feeling sick or maybe hurt, ease up.
24. Try to actually have fun.
25. "Hold your WHY close by."
26. Get inspired to push by the fact that as a first-time marathoner your finish time will be a personal best!
27. Even though you'll want to, don't stop moving as soon as you cross the finish line.
28. Don’t sprint to the finish. Slow down and enjoy the moment.
29. And remember: Your marathon achievement is about way more than those 26.2 miles.
Responses have been edited for clarity and length.