Raise your hand if you are sick and tired of reading “How to run a marathon” articles! It’s understandable. You’ve had real world experiences; some of which are memorable and other not-so-pleasant experiences that have tested your mettle and your sense of humour. The advice we’re about to dispense could have been written by your Mum—if she wanted to make you laugh about a subject that you hold near and dear to your heart, so consider this your guide on what NOT to do as you prepare for your next marathon!
How Not To Run A Marathon
1. Avoid drinking
We’re not referring to the afternoon Mai Tai that tastes even better when you’ve had a bad day at the office, but those pesky bottles of water that your coaches, run club members and experts insist on reminding you about night and day as they harp non-stop on the topic of staying hydrated. Besides, there’s a great chance that you’ll get to the finish line faster if you skip hydration stations—dehydrated and sick, for sure, but you did set a personal best, right?
2. Skip eating leading up to—and on the day of—your race
It matters not that your trainer has explained repeatedly that the reason you’ve put on a few pounds while training for your marathon has everything to do with muscle building. All you can see are those rising numbers on your scale and, you worry that if you keep it up, the fierce outfit you bought for the post-marathon party isn’t going to fit. Stick to your restrictive diet, even if it means you’ll feel dizzy at the start line and could collapse during the race. Everyone makes sacrifices to look great, you conclude.
3. Wear a pair of new shoes to the marathon to impress
What better way to show off your fashion acumen than by purchasing a trendy new pair shoes just for this marathon? Those well-broken-in running shoes in your closet look kind of shabby, even though there’s plenty of life left in them, so you talk yourself into saving them for future training runs. Whatever you do, keep those new shoes in the box until you get to the start line so they look impressively new to anyone who checks out your fashionably-shod feet. Bring plasters though. Lots. You’ll need them.
4. Stick to cotton clothing when you run
You’ve seen advertisements advocating “natural textiles” over synthetics so many times, there’s not a single garment in your dresser made with a thread of polyester or other synthetics. Sure, you will sweat like crazy throughout your marathon—particularly if it’s during Singapore’s hottest weather—but wear 100-percent cotton separates anyway, even though it has zero wicking properties! Nothing says “”fastidious” like arriving at the finish line with your clothing soaked and clinging to every inch of your sweaty body.
5. Avoid training before your marathon
There are so many reasons to take this advice, but here are a few: You could get injured before the marathon if you train, so skip it all together and rest up instead. You might get sick if you train when the weather is inclement, which could mean bowing out on the big day, so stay at home and watch a film instead of conditioning properly.
6. Ignore your skin in favour of your appearance
Lube your body to avoid painful chafing? No way! You don’t want to look like a giant pig ready for roasting over an open fire, do you? Besides, you’ve never had chafing problems in the past when you undertook fun runs, so how could a marathon be any different? Forget the sunscreen, too. You won’t be standing still long enough to get a sunburn. Besides, you’re loaded with lotions at home, so plan to “grease up” after your marathon run—right after you wring out your sweaty cotton race outfit.
7. Try something new on race day
Experimentation is fun. Ignore everything you read about not trying anything new on marathon day! Treat yourself to a new hydration pack, for example—one that’s state-of-the-art. And don’t audition it the day before the marathon to make sure you can use it properly. Get a stylin’ new haircut despite the fact that the hair along your forehead is now cut to fall into your face repeatedly, but since you don’t want to ruin your new do by wearing a headband, so you spend most of the marathon pushing soaked hair out of your face.
8. Dismiss offers of help
Wave off anyone who offers you unsolicited advice with a dismissive hand and ignore them. Sure, they may be attempting to inform you of a route change or warn you of a dangerous intersection ahead that requires special caution, but you know it all and don’t need anyone to give you advice on how to run your race. And for heaven’s sake, if you’re advised to get first aid treatment at an aid station, ignore them, too. You’ve got a pace to maintain that doesn’t include time to be bandaged!
9. Ignore weather reports
As far as you’re concerned, weather forecasters are never right, so adopt this mantra: I’ll believe it when I see it. As a result, don’t bother to bring a poncho to the marathon site in the event it rains, nor should you throw the shoes best suited to muddy terrains into your backpack. Plan to show the world that you’re undaunted by anything Mother Nature throws your way, even if it lands you flat on your back with the flu!
10. Show everyone that you’re in this race for yourself…and couldn’t care less about how others fare
Who wants to get friendly with competitors? They’re out to beat you anyway, so maintain the aloof demeanor usually reserved for royalty. And whatever you do, never offer a compliment to another competitor or inquire into the health of a runner who doesn’t look too well. Importantly, if someone falls, trips or is injured, don’t show your concern or waste your pity coming to her aid—she’s one less obstacle to overcome in your quest for a win, after all.
Run A Marathon Correctly
Self-centered people are everywhere in today’s world, but behind that “know-it-all” demeanor resides a person with very little self-confidence.
Have you ever run into a marathon competitor who meets this description? What, if anything, did you do to try and engage that person despite the wall she puts up?