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10 helpful tips for running your first marathon

10 helpful tips for running

Guest Author: Helene Borgesano (contributed: August 21, 2019)

If you are new to running, here are 10 helpful tips for running your first marathon (I wish I knew these before running my first!).

Share your mountain or marathon running story here.

1) Have a Goal and Follow a Running Plan

It will save you time and effort. Beginner, intermediate, or advanced programs are available online. You can download free 5k, 10k, half-marathon, and full marathon training guides at,, and

2) Cross Training is Essential for Building Strength & Preventing Injury

Hip, leg, and ab strengthening exercises are a must. Regular stretching is just as important, before and after each run. Incorporate yoga as much as possible, and make foam rolling a part of your daily routine (even if it is 5 to 10 minutes). None of this needs to be dreadful. You can get any of these done while waiting for your food to cook, coffee to brew, waiting for laundry to be done, or watching TV.

3) You Need Electrolytes

Hydration is imperative. Balanced electrolytes are necessary for your digestive, cardiac, muscular, and nervous systems to function well, so it is imperative to replenish. It will also prevent cramping. Natural coconut water contains 5 key electrolytes that will help your post-run recovery.

4) Eat Enough Protein & Balanced Meals

farmers marketDon't neglect those trips to the Farmers Market!

You need to fuel your body properly to be able to sustain your runs. Balanced meals, pure supplements and meal planning will all contribute to building strength, endurance, and muscle recovery. Don't forget to take healthy snacks for longer runs. It took me awhile to find what my stomach could tolerate. A lot of runners like gel packs, which are practical; my favorites are seeds, nuts, small fruits, and Swedish fish.

5) Never Forget!

Start slow with small distances and build up you're miles. Learn to be patient with yourself, which is often the hardest part. The journey can get difficult as you get closer to race day and upping you're miles. Never forget why you chose to run. Keep a positive mindset and surround yourself with people that support you.

6) Running Together

Find a running buddy, friend, or running group so you can encourage each other and share tips. This helped me tremendously in being accountable and showing up for long, Saturday runs.

7) What About Pain?

If you start feeling pain, do not push it. Rest as much as needed, and if pain persists, go see a doctor. Listen to your body; it's trying to tell you something.

pain scale

8) The Right Fit Makes a Difference

Get your running shoes fitted at a reputable running store. They offer free, visual gait analysis based on 5 key variables: bone structure, foot rotation, pronation, stature, and foot shape. Invest in good gear, base layers, and socks. Make sure your extremities are well-isolated if you are training during the Winter: heads, hands, feet, and FACE! During warmer seasons, protect your head, eyes, and skin!

9) I Am Too Tired Today

Being exhausted and making up excuses are two different things. If you couldn't get your miles in, do not beat yourself over it. Rest up, and just get out there the next day. Lace up, and do it the next.

athlete resting

10) Rest and Massage

Get enough sleep and take a minimum of 1 to 2 days off from running per week. Allow your body to recover. Regular massage will help with any soft tissue strains, reduce injury, improve flexibility, and circulation.

About the Author of "10 Helpful Tips for Running"

helene borgesano

Helene Borgesano, contributing author of "10 Helpful Tips for Running," is an avid runner and yogi. Passionate about wellness, she believes in a holistic approach. She is a licensed massage therapist and nutrition consultant.

As an empath, Helene tries to help as many people as she can through body work, movement, meditation, and nutrition; she strives to get her clients to become present and find a moment of total peace as she believes that healing starts once we let go.

She ran the Boston Marathon this year to represent the Boston Bulldogs Running Club.

The amazing, non-profit provides support through wellness for all those adversely affected by all forms of addiction, those in recovery, their families and friends, in a safe environment.

It was one of the greatest experiences of her life and she cannot wait for her next race.

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