If you're considering signing up for a marathon (or already did) check out this list of the 26 things I wish I knew before I ran my marathon. 

1. Long Runs Will Take Half of Your Sunday

water, grass
McKenna Franklin
But think about all the great views you'll see on your run.

2. Eventually 10 Miles Will Sound Like a Short Run

tea, grass, water
Wendy Sun
Plus, you get to see some fabulous views along the way.

3. You Will Get Tons of Blisters All Over Your Feet

grass, water, bird
Ashleigh Monaco

I had 5 on one foot at one point. It was painful. But it's inevitable while running a marathon. 

4.Invest in a Handheld Water Bottle That You Can Bring With You on Your Run

beer, water, tea
McKenna Franklin

This is a total necessity. 

5. Your Toenails Will Bruise and Fall Off

tea, cake, beer
McKenna Franklin

They will also be bruised for a few weeks after your race. Ouch. 

6. Don't Skip Your Track Workouts

beer, grass
Wendy Sun

Speed workouts are crucial if you want to hold a specific pace. I hate speed workouts, but I can also see it pay off in my running. 

7. Your Confidence Level Will Constantly Be Changing

cake, birthday cake
Kelsey Coughlin

Some weeks you'll feel on top of the world, and other days you'll feel incredibly unprepared. This is okay. Just don't let it sidetrack you from your training plan.

8. Find a Nutritious Pre-Run Snack

porridge, rice, oatmeal, sweet, milk, risotto
Christin Urso

Once you find one, stick to it and make sure you can eat it on the morning of your race. Banana and peanut butter, or oatmeal are filling choices. 

9. Try to eat 30-60 Grams of Carbs Each Hour, After 75 Minutes of Running 

candy, sweet, gelatin, jelly, sweetmeat
Photo by Kristine Auble

Concentrated carbs are the best way to do so. These include gels, blocks and sport beans. It's overwhelming at first, but I recommend GU Energy Gel in the Chocolate Coconut flavor (it's basically Nutella). Any local running store will have all of these types of fuel. Otherwise, gummy bears are always a good go to as well. 

10. Do a Short, Easy Run the Day Before Race Day

beer, tea, wine
Jordana Colomby

I assumed the day before race day was a rest day, so I was quite surprised when I noticed everyone go for a run the day before. Also, set some time aside to stretch and relax your body.

11. Fuel With Caffeine

coffee, cappuccino, espresso, milk, tea, indian tea, cream, mocha
Photo by Lindsey Law

It can be super helpful in the last few miles to drink caffeine. That extra kick totally helps.  

12. Put Replacement Electrolytes in Your Water Bottle During Your Long Runs

grass, herb, vegetable
Torey Walsh

My favorite is the Nuun Lemon + Lime. 

13. Chocolate Milk After a Long Run Is the Best Thing Ever

milk, coffee, chocolate, sweet
Photo by Hannah Lin

Chocolate milk is an effective recovery drink that meets protein needs to heal sore muscles. 

14. At Some Point During the Run, You Will Get Some Weird Food Cravings

grapefruit, juice, citrus, lemon, sweet, blood orange
Lily Allen
Mine includes lemonade and grapefruit (which I normally hate). 

15. Find a Pre-Run Dinner That Fuels You

vegetable, pasta, sauce, rice
Gabby Phi

Aka carbs.

16. Yoga. Stretch. Foam Roll. 

grass, pasture
Photo by Danny Schuleman

Don't underestimate these recovery options. Your tight hamstrings will thank you later. 

17. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

lemon, water, lemonade
Caroline Liu

Keep drinking water. If you find it boring, add lemon or strawberries to it to make it taste even better. 

18. Avoid Candy or Sweets at the Finish Line

candy, chocolate, goody, sweet
Becky Hughes

Be cautious of sugary food, as your stomach may not be able to handle them immediately after a marathon. Also try to avoid all of these foods.

19. Find a Running Buddy

beer, pizza
McKenna Franklin

It makes a world of difference. 

20. Keep Your Old Running Shoes

cake, chocolate, sweet, candy
Grace Ling

Use your old shoes so you can rotate your shoes every few days.

21. Eat Protein After Your Long Runs

meat, vegetable, barbecue, chicken breast, pork, sauce, grilled salmon, steak, fillet, chicken, fish
Laura Palladino

Refueling your body after a race is just as important as what you eat before.

22. Marathons Can Get Expensive

coffee, water, beer, tea, fish
Photo by Joanna Magik

The registration fee, gels, possibly new shoes, a hotel if you're traveling, etc. Keep this in mind when planning.

23. You Will Not Be Able to Walk the Day After Your Race

Avoid stairs at all costs, and prepare for your friends to laugh at you as you struggle to get out of the car. 

24.Find a Pair of Socks That Work for You

beer, pizza
Wendy Sun

Thick socks, thin socks, long socks, short socks—it's important people. Thick socks may add compression and help prevent swelling whereas thin socks are better for summer weather. Also, make sure to always get moisture wicking material to prevent blisters. 

25. You Might Find Yourself Singing out Loud During a Long Run

Is this just me? I like to channel my inner Beyoncé. 

26. The Amount of Love and Support Your Friends and Family Will Give You Is Huge

McKenna Franklin

One of the best things about running a marathon is seeing everyone come together to support you. Before you know it, you'll find yourself smiling during a race due to all the love you're feeling.