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What Your Friends Say About Running a Marathon. . .

Guest post from Andy Richardson author of Start Running For Beginners

One of the cool things about running a marathon is that it gives you something to talk about with other people. There is just something about the ‘M’ word that gets people’s attention. Even non-runners typically respect the idea of running a marathon whether or not they encourage you.

But I especially enjoy meeting and talking with other marathoners, new or experienced. The topic can often give you something to build a friendship on.

Not too long ago, I was talking with a neighbor of mine about my upcoming marathon (Rock and Roll Savanah Marathon), and it turns out that he is running the same race. We spoke for some time in my front yard about marathon training, and being an experienced marathoner, he gave me some thoughts on what to expect.

Here are a few pointers I thought I would share with you.


Bob’s Advice About Running a Marathon


  • You’ll Be Ok! Bob could see the fear in my eyes. As we were talking about it, the reality of running 26.2 miles became overwhelming. He assured me that I would do fine, and to take it easy.
  • Start Slow! Bob also said that I should shoot to “just finish” your first race, and not worry too much about the time goal. He also said the biggest mistake most people make is to start too fast. I am definitely going to take his advice and “warm up the engine” slowly.
  • Ditch the Cotton Shorts! We often pass each other on the road (usually he is passing me), so he has seen my running attire. He quickly pointed out that the cotton t-shirts, socks, and shorts I wear are going to cause me some serious rashes during long runs and the full race. Since then I did bite the bullet, and bought some high-tech clothing. (Ahhh- relief!)
  • Get Some Band Aids! But sometimes, even with the high tech clothing you can still have chaffing in those more sensitive areas. He said he is just going to put a band-aid on both pecs to alleviate any problems in those areas. That may have been too much information, or it may save me a lot of pain. I have not decided which, yet!
  • Coke Bottle Remedy . . . After getting such eternal wisdom about the bandaids, I thought I would ask him his thoughts on the slight running pain on the ball of my right foot. Based on what I told him, he said to massage the bottom of my feet by rolling the feet on a coke bottle. I did use a filled water bottle to do the same thing, and it actually did seem to help relieve the tension.

I hope you found some of these tips useful, or at least mildly amusing. I am glad that I talked to my neighbor Bob about running. Not only has it made us better friends, but I also learned some tips that really help me with my training.

So What Do You Think?
Do you like to tell people you are running a marathon? How do people respond? What is the best (or worst) advice you have received from friends?


PS – I figured I better show you some pics of me actually running, so I updated my profile picture. That was a 5K “Shrimp Festival” run I did with my son last year here in Beaufort, SC. We are just crossing the bridge, and are headed for the finish line!

4 Responses to What Your Friends Say About Running a Marathon. . .

  1. Trevor July 22, 2011 at 10:26 am #

    It is so fun (maybe self-indulgent) to tell people about my plan to run a marathon.

    Most non-runners stand there in amazement. Fellow runners smile broadly and share their own running stories.

    There is an instant camaraderie among runners.

  2. Melissa July 25, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    Also running in Savannah!! I can’t wait.

    As far as teh Coke bottle thing, I do exactly that with a tennis ball. It has done wonders for the foot pain Iw as getting.

    Best wishes and happy running!

  3. Cille August 3, 2011 at 3:42 am #

    I’m ‘just’ at half-marathon level right now, but still enjoys talking to everyone about it. Not only have that given me something to talk to my colleagues about (besides work), it also gives me the motivation to push myself a little harder. If I tell my friends and colleagues that I’m training for a half-marathon, then I also have to actually run the half-marathon, otherwise I would just be embarrassing myself.

    I enjoy supplementing my running with some yoga. Yoga have helped me correct my running style, so that I can finally run without worrying about my shin splints coming back.

  4. Denise W. September 2, 2011 at 1:09 am #

    I am a newbie hoping to start at the 5k. I enjoy running because of the great cardio workout benefit and the way I feel after a good run……totally energized and ready to start my day. I am looking forward to a new phase in my life, hoing that this new endeavor will allow me to meet new and interesting people, travel and participate in numerous runs for charities or just for fun! Thanks for all the helpful hints and advise.

    Denise W.
    Belmopan City, Belize C.A

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