| Health, Lifestyle, Sports,

Tips to Run your First Marathon – Could This be your 2024 Goal?

Beatrice Lessi

I have been working with Swiss Deluxe Hotels for many years, and in the process I became friend to its Head of Corporate Communication & Media relations, Evelyn Gorgos. 

This woman doesn’t stop: she has three children, a beautiful demaning job and…she decided to run her first marathon in April.

She asked me if I have any tips or recommendation for it, so here is my January email to her. It might be useful for anybody who want to run a marathon in 2024.

Dear Evelyn,

even though we are all super motivated at the beginning of the year, here is a little email to start thinking about the marathon. I am writing some of my personal tips and strategies, but of course you have to find your way, so please read and ignore what doesn’t resonate with you.

1. In most marathons there is a line in the middle of the road, normally white or blu. It  will go away with the rain, it’s not permanent. If you see it, try do follow it, because it’s the shortest way to finish line. Alternatively, you can run on one side to be relatively undisturbed. Avoid zig zag! You can easily add 1 or 2 km, that way. 42 km is long enough.

2. There is a good-looking tennis teacher, here where I live, who told me he used to follow me on local runs (and on the marathon). Why? Because my speed was similar, but being a woman, I was much more regular than him. He used me as a pacemaker. He told me that women tend to pace themselves better than men, who go too fast at the beginning and blow it. Let’s use this advantage. The first 2 km are not important and you don’t need to speed, pass people, zig zag or waste energy. The first 2 km are not the marathon.

3. We are better than men (in my experience) also about cramps. Here is a trick: start drinking one day before the race. Even two days before . Drinking on marathon day is not enough, and drinking your usual quantity of water only can cause cramps and side stitches. Running brings more cramps than biking, that’s why I am saying this. Prepare well.

4. The day before (even two days before), you can also stop coffee. I hate this, but it helps for two very important things: hydration and sleep. Make sure you go to bed early. Even if you don’t sleep, stay there without phone and relax. Sleep is the doping. I am convinced I did what I did because I sleep more than average.

5. I am sure you have your own mental tricks already, and you know how mental sport is. Use that ability in a marathon: it’s worth double. Whatever happens, turn it into positive. If you have a pain, it’s because your body is healthy, so it’s signalling you to go slower or change something. If you are worried about something, just go one step at a time. It’s as easy as that 🙂

6. Personal tip: I love km 38. Why? Because that’s where people normally “hit the wall”, have the crisis. When you get there, you are a marathon runner. This is the centre of it, the core of a marathon: the last 5 km. Welcome it. Dig into it. You paid for that.

7. Motivation tends to peak at the beginning (now) and at the end (before marathon day). The problem is in the middle. This is human and unavoidable. One thing you can do against this is: do shorter plans and goals. Plan week by week so the middle is shorter.

8. And by the way do let me know if you have a bad moment, an injury, if things are different than you thought, and in general how things are going.

9. Don’t risk your precious legs! Avoid trying skating for the first time and stuff like this. Stay healthy from here to April and you’ll do it great!

Buon anno!


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