Running in the Chicago Marathon? Advice from last year's first-timer

So, you're running the Chicago Marathon for the first time this year? I have some advice for you. Especially if you're one of those not-really-a-runner type of person. If you've been running 10 miles daily for several years, then feel free to skip over this post. If you're new to the running world and struggle with diarrhea, then this might be of help.

I'm no trainer. I'm not really a runner. In fact, I suck at running. It might have something to do with the aversion conditioning because for me running 2 miles = sitting on the pot for 1/2 hour.

Despite that, I ran the Chicago Marathon last year for the first time. And only time. (Never again!) Two years ago, I started this blog to track my training progress. I was crappy at training and at blogging, and yet I managed to finish the marathon in something like 6 hours and 17 minutes.

Here are some tips I learned that helps with successfully finishing a marathon. Take all, some, or none of the advice as suits you. And good luck!

(Oh, and PS, you WILL be like this and this  in the days afterwards. Seriously. Book that massage now for afterwards.)

ETA: Read the comments below to get some more good first-timer tips!

Filed under: Marathon


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  • These are good tips. I have a couple more based both on running and spectating. First, have your spectators buy a unique mylar balloon from the grocery store the night before. It will make them MUCH easier to find- also, make sure you know which side of the street they will be on.

    Also, look at the map and choose a very specific meet-up point for after the race. It is next to impossible to find someone just by milling around after the race and because of the crowds, we had NO CELL SERVICE- texts and calls weren't going through. Again, the mylar balloon saved us as that's how my daughter found us last year. This year we will be better prepared.

  • In reply to Anne Kiplinger:

    Thanks for the additional tips, Anne!

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