If you’re taking part in your first marathon this year, you might be feeling all sorts of emotions - from excitement to fear, or even dread.
So, while each newbie prepares to put their body (and mind) through its paces, we asked seasoned marathon runners to share their one piece of advice for first timers. They’ve been there, done that, got the race number.
“Put Vaseline EVERYWHERE - underboob, armpit, thighs, toes and bum crack.
“Enjoy it. Yes it will hurt but the pain fades - you’ll keep the memories from your first marathon forever.”
Charlie Watson (aka The Runner Beans), 28
“It’s really a 20 mile training run, which you’ve done in the cold on your own, then two 5k parkruns, which you can do in your sleep.
“Go steadily through the 20 miles, dig deep for the first parkrun, use the crowd to get through the final 5k and then smile, you’re done :)”
Neil Wright, 60
“Have a poo before you set off and stick to 10 minute miles.”
Gareth Turkington, 30
“Hydrate well the day BEFORE.”
Hannah Ebelthite, 40
“Put vaseline all over your feet to avoid blisters. Oh, and don’t be afraid to use a pub loo rather than queuing for the official ones ;)”
Lauren Turner, 35
“Decent socks and shoes, but nothing new. Go to the loo and don’t go off like the clappers. Remember it will end and try to have fun.”
Stuart Richards, 48
“Remember, it is (literally) a marathon and not a sprint. While your legs will be feeling fresh at the start line, you need to remember that your marathon pace is (generally) going to be quite a bit slower than your 10k or half marathon pace.”
James Drakeford, 28
“Don’t get too excited in the first half, that bit will feel easy, save it for the last 6 miles!”
Vickie Woodsford, 38
“How do you eat an elephant? In small chunks. That’s how you run a marathon.”
Michelle Sammet, 26
“Don’t get over excited by the crowd and the noise you’ll end up running quicker and burn out. Just take your time.”
Ross Elliot, 33
“Just finishing is a PB. You probably don’t need the loo (for the third time) but go anyway. Organise your cheering squad for a needed boost.”
Rebecca Lewis, 27