TORONTO July 6th 2015. Digital Champion David Daze is very excited to be running the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 18th. He started running marathons in 2001 at the age of 40 and #STWM will be his 24th marathon! David’s most memorable running accomplishment was qualifying for and running the Boston Marathon in 2006 and 2007. When he’s not running, David is a full time elementary school teacher and basketball coach. Connect with David on Twitter and Instagram.

Lessons Learned after Running 23 Marathons. By David Daze. David Finish Line

1. You cannot get into marathon shape quickly. Be mindful of your mileage as the training weeks progress, because ramping up too quickly will possibly lead to an injury.  Listen to your body and be sure to build in rest days to your training program.

2. Have your gear ready to go and your pre-race logistics figured out in advance of the big day. My hat, shirt with bib, shorts, socks, shoes, watch, and gels are all laid out the night before the marathon.  When race morning comes, I know what I am having for breakfast, how I’m getting to the start line, where I am going to park, and what my warm-up ritual will be.  No stress, no worries.  Just think about the run.

3. When the gun goes off don’t be in a hurry. Ease into the race and let the road come to you.  Running with a pace bunny, at least in the early stages of the race, is a good way to keep it under control and not let yourself get caught up in the early excitement of the marathon.

4. The halfway point of a marathon is the 32km mark.   The last 10 km is when it gets real and it gets tough.  So get your weekly training long runs in because they are important.  I don’t know where I first saw this quote but for me it describes the marathon perfectly: “A marathon is 20 miles of hope and 6 miles of truth.”

5. A little inspiration can go a long way. I always write the names of my wife and two daughters on my arm before each marathon.  Whatever motivates you, keep it in mind when you are making the final push to the finish line.

6. Smile when you cross the finish line and celebrate your race! No matter what place you come in, running a marathon is an accomplishment to be proud of.  Congratulate your fellow runners, thank the volunteers as you make your way through the recovery area, and wear that medal proudly because you are a marathoner!