10 Unexpected Truths About Running a Marathon

YOU’LL THINK WAY TOO MUCH ABOUT YOUR BATHROOM HABITS

Marathons are all about planning—your training plan, for one, but also what to eat, what to wear, and, also importantly, when to use the bathroom. Nerves, hydration habits, and hours on the road make thinking about your bathroom plan beforehand a smart thing to do. Plan your bathroom breaks with these tips, and be sure to always make a last-minute stop at the starting line Porta-Potties before your corral is called—you’ll be glad you did!

YOU’LL EXPERIENCE NEW PAINS

My longest run before a marathon is usually around 22 miles—enough for me to know how my body will react to race day, without feeling like I’ve burnt out. Even so, I’m always amazed at the painful surprises that are in store for me when I’m pushing myself a little harder than those training runs. Anything from lower back issues to foot pain or chafing can creep up on you during a long race, so be aware of any nagging issues you have before and try to prevent them with strengthening, stretching, or antichafe measures. Luckily, my pains have been minor enough to run through to the end, but if you ever feel like you need to stop during a race, be sure and find a medical tent ASAP.

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