1. Do not try anything new. If you know oatmeal in the morning gives you the energy to haul ass, Hall says then you better eat your oats on race day. (We like this guy.)
2. Attack one mile at a time. The key? Stay in the moment, he says.
3. Get comfortable with the course so you know what to expect. If you don’t have the opportunity to run the course, do what Ryan did for Chicago: Virtually run through the course on YouTube a thousand times over until it feels like you’ve actually run it.
4. Get most of your nutrition in the first half of the race. Yes, you’ll need the energy. When it comes to race drinks, make them diluted in the beginning because you still have energy from your pre-run meal, strong in the middle because you’ll need a pick-me-up, and diluted at the end. Hall promises you’ll still make it to the end.
5. Avoid fibrous foods—or anything that will cause your stomach to go “ugh.” Not only will it ruin your run, but the guy or gal behind you may pass out…and it won’t be from exhaustion.
6. Rest! Hall always takes one day off a week and two weeks off after a marathon. This means it’s okay to sit on the couch. You’ve earned it.
And then after you run your first race, you can get ready for the next one! Ryan runs two marathons (max) per year, and he has three favorites. Boston is the most historic with tons of energy, New York City has the best start and is most scenic (you run through all of New York City’s five boroughs), and Chicago is the quickest.
The finish of our jog ended at breakfast, and his last word of advice: “Go out hard—it’s easier to slow down than speed up!” Which I took as, “Give it all you got.”
Isn’t he the best? Do you have a favorite marathon? Which is it? —Raquel