To be successful in athletics requires you to learn some basics of the game. In particular, participating in a marathon race can be tricky if you lack the necessary skills required to become a victor. The second half of a marathon is critical as far as winning the race is concerned. From my personal experience, I have learned a lot of tricks that if followed the second half part of the marathon will not be a problem to you. Below are my tips that will help you master the second half of a marathon.
1. Get the pace right
Getting the pace right is the most important aspect of a marathon race, and if you get it wrong, it will affect your overall performance. The biggest problem that affects some athletes is starting off quickly and getting burned out after a short while. No matter how tempting it is, you need to master how to maintain your pace at constant splints throughout the first half of the marathon. Sticking to your speed plan is the key aspect of completing the first half of the marathon in a better way. Once you are passed the halfway, you can now start on how to tinker your pace a little bit. Nonetheless, as you run a constant speed, you need not, however, to run too slow either. Running slowly during the earlier stages of the race is a problem that affects some runners. In particular, some runners think running slowly in the first half will make them conserve more energy that will make them finish the marathon race strongly. But the truth is that if you start the race at a slow pace, it will be hard for you to increase your speed from such a situation. The key thing to successful finishing is how to master energy throughout the race. Breathing is another important aspect of a race. But if you get your pace right, breathing will stabilize naturally. Nonetheless, if you increase the speed, your breathing will be ragged. On the other hand, if you decrease your speed, the rhythm will become less natural. You can practice how to maintain your breath during the race. Start by running at a pace that you are comfortable with and then increase it slowly by slowly.
2. Research the course
It is always a bonus to do your homework well concerning the course. Take your time and learn the course by getting to know the route in detail. In particular, get to know all the features of the route by learning some of the phases that will affect your speed. Carefully identify all the uphill phases of the course and then plan well on how to approach them. Certainly, you need to expend more energy on the uphill sections and regain some of it at the downhill sections. So, it is good to regard all these factors during your preparations for your second half marathon. The best example of the races with these features is the Boston competition where both uphill and downhill sections are present. The other examples include the New York Race, which has several uphill and downhill sections, and the San Francesco where the first half is uphill. Doing enough survey of the course before entering any marathon race will be your biggest asset if you want to end the race in a strong way. It is worth noting that the race efforts tend to go back, particularly in the final stages when runners experience something they never expected. Therefore, it will be a good idea for you to understand the course right before participating in the race.
3. Nutrition and hydration strategy
Hard work is required in the attempts to strike a good balance between hydration and nutrition processes. To complete the second half part of the marathon, your body requires a constant supply of water and minerals throughout the race. Once the glycogen in the body gets diminished, your legs will depend on the extra energy you get from what you take during your running. After successfully practicing these strategies you need to remember to implement them during the real race. You need not wait until you feel thirsty to drink, just drink at certain intervals as you keep running. Avoid taking a lot of fluids and gels during the second round of the marathon. You just need to maintain a regulated system of taking fluids and need to rehearse on them to master it.
4. Win the mental battle
Becoming a victor in a marathon race will also depend on how you win the mental battle. Winning a mental battle requires a lot of sacrifices. As you run, there are a lot of things going on in your head. Particularly, you will hear voices urging you to stop, others telling you to continue, others telling you to increase the speed, or others telling you slow down. Participating in a race is not an easy thing. Running and finishing a race is something that depends on proper preparation. The second half of the marathon is particularly difficult and if you do not master how to race it, things might get worse for you. All you need is to have a strong mental capacity to make the right decisions.
5. Be philosophical
Besides doing all the preparations before participating in a race, there are other factors that are beyond your control. These are factors that you cannot control even if you have practiced for eight months. Such factors may include a heat wave or a snow storm. Sometimes you might wake up on the race day and realize you are not well. Whatever the factors, you only need to control what you can control and leave the ones you cannot control. Additionally, you need to enjoy your running experience throughout the race. Winning a marathon race is a process that needs you to enjoy much as you enjoy the medal. So, you need not to worry how to approach the second half of the marathon, you only need to do your planning and then master your techniques.