6 things you should know before you run your first marathon

Ahead of this Sunday’s London Marathon, Camille Roegiers, co-founder of Fashercise and a seasoned marathon runner, shares her tips for getting through your first ever 26.2 mile run.

Not all marathons are created equal

I would highly recommend researching the course of your chosen marathon before you embark on your training journey. My first marathon was in my hometown of Brussels, which I never considered to be especially hilly, but when I finally got around to looking at the course – halfway through my training – I realised that it was hilly, very hilly. That completely changed my training regime and I’m not sure I would have made Brussels my first marathon had I known about all of the hills! London is much flatter and Berlin is usually a favourite with first timers (and record breakers) as it is so flat.

Vaseline will become your best friend

I am not the first one to say that chafing in long distance running can cause real damage, and there are loads of anti-chafe products out there, but I am a firm believer in the humble Vaseline. You can find it everywhere, it comes in handy small tins which are easy to take with you on long runs, but more importantly, it’s amazing for your feet! If you lather your feet with Vaseline before putting your socks on, you will not only avoid blisters and chaffing around your ankles but it will also leave your feet super soft. Win. Win.

You need to switch up your playlist

I really struggle to go for a long run without listening to something and a good playlist can really make a difference to your tempo and motivation – but it can be nice to switch things up too. When on a long run, getting lost in a good story can be the perfect distraction. A great audio book or podcast is an ideal companion. When I was training for the London marathon, Serial was my go-to podcast. It would almost make me forget about the miles, almost.

A good outfit will make you run faster. Fact

Well, not fact but I am a strong believer that a good outfit can be the best motivation to get yourself out of bed for a long run on a rainy Sunday morning. You want to feel like a superhero as you’re accomplishing something as huge as a marathon. You also want to not think about your outfit – you don’t want to have to pull your leggings up or deal with a misplaced bra strap. Getting gear that fits perfectly is absolutely key and will make the whole process a lot easier. My personal favourites are compression leggings that help with blood flow and make a massive difference the next day (The LNDR Ultra leggings and the Ultracor lightening bolt leggings are my current favourite) and a good sports bra – it’s as important as good trainers. The Compression sports bra from Boom Boom Athletica is a winner. Finally, make sure you put your name on the front of your top. Supporters will be able to read it and personally cheer you on and that is priceless!

Accept that you will cry

Needless to say, a marathon is extremely taxing on your body but I was surprised to discover how emotionally draining it is too. During the Brussels marathon, I couldn’t stop crying as I marvelled at what my body could achieve (and how bloody hard the course was!) whilst during the London marathon, I was moved to tears by the number of people who were running for a great cause. The London Marathon is the largest fund-raising event in the world and I was impressed by the sheer volume of amazing supporters – nothing beats the London crowd. Running for several hours will also make you raw and any emotions that you have been dealing with will bubble up to the surface – it’s amazingly cathartic. So, yes, for one reason or another, you will cry. Embrace it.

Nothing beats Magic Monday

If you can, take the day after the marathon off. Your body will thank you. You will be exhausted, not only because of the run but because it’s not uncommon to sleep really badly after a long run as your legs are throbbing (if you can, wear compression leggings or socks to bed, it’s super uncomfortable but it will help!). You will be famished, not only because you will have burned a bucket-load of calories but your nutrients reserve will be depleted. I found that there was no rhyme or reason to what I was craving. Very salty buttery pasta and Haribo followed by prawn cocktail crisps?! Sure! You will be stiff. Negotiating stairs will be painful and time-consuming, I have never been happier to be living in a ground-floor flat than after the London marathon. Honestly, you’ve just achieved something amazing, giving yourself a day to recover and bask in it is a well-deserved treat.

Kit that fits

Fashercise is a luxury online platform and retail boutique which stocks and champions the best independent activewear labels from around the globe. Fashercise launched their Curve edit in 2018 – an inclusive range of sportswear to all women of all shapes and sizes. The new labels will expand the current offering from XS to 5 XL including brands Rainbeau and DAY/WON.