During 2007 Nairobi marathon I looked at the runners around the starting line and noted many were guilty of breaking basic marathon rules. If the organisers had a standby jail some runners would have been locked up. The five basic marathons rules are:
1. First Marathon rule, Have a Stop watch
The only way you can tell whether you are running too fast or slowing down is looking at your stop watch. During the 2007 Nairobi marathon I noted my pace in the first 10k was faster by a minute, without a stop watch, I would have realised this after burning out. Many runners at Nairobi marathon did not have a watch on their wrist, which means they did not care about their time.
2. Second Marathon rule, Get a proper running shoe.
Believe it or not, I saw a runner in the 10K run running bare foot, another runner finished the half marathon in his socks. Some runners had sprint shoe with soles too thin for a marathon. A marathon shoe should have atleast a one inch thick sole. The running shoe is the most important running gear. One lady I spoke with after the marathon complained of aching ankles, I wasnt surprised to see she was running with a shoe meant for indoor sprint.
3. Third Marathon Rule, Dont drink too much water
We have heard cases of runners dying during marathon because of taking too much water. Too much water reduces sodium balance in your body, if sodium levels gets very low you risk death. The professional runners dont drink much water because they are busy running while most of us amateur runners we are walking, we have all the time to indulge in water drinking. Hi folks! its a running contest not a water drinking contest.
4. Fourth marathon rule, Dont Push and Shove
To avoid being shoved I normally start from the back. Share some runners love by letting other go first. Dont worry being left behind, majority of those who are so eager to start are novice runners who you will catch up once they start burning out.
5. Last Marathon Rule, Remember Your electronic chip.
I thought this was obvious, but I met one runner who told me he did not get his official finishing time because he did not have his electronic chip after he forgot it at home. I Hope next year he remembers to pack it ready on the eve of the marathon. There is nothing worse than to run 42K and at the end you dont get timed, dont get a medal and no certificate.