The road to readiness for a marathon is a long one and anyone who has taken on the challenge of running one will know that the preparation takes months. If you've been in training and are set to run a marathon anytime soon, then here are some top tips to help you get the most from your day. |
The night before, eat a big meal of carbohydrates, such as pasta, which should provide you with the energy needed to fuel your body throughout the race. When it comes to the race morning, you should definitely eat something, although don't eat to excess, otherwise you might find yourself forced into an unscheduled pit-stop to answer the call of nature! With regards to nature's calls, make sure you visit the toilet right before you start the race to minimise the chance of having to make any trips to the WC once you've started.
Although once the race gets started you'll soon work up quite a sweat, remember to take something along to keep you warm whilst you're hanging around at the start. A lot of race events begin early when the air temperature is still cool, so don't get caught out without a warm hoodie or jacket. And on the subject of warmth - make sure you warm up for a good 15-20 minutes before the start of the race with a mixture of muscle stretching and gentle running exercises to help stave off the threat of injuries. But remember, don't overdo it; save your energy for the actual race as you don't want to be tired at the start line because you overdid the warming up session.
Fluids are a very important consideration to take on board; sufficient hydration prevents overheating injures and will improve your performance. A couple of days before the race, it's a good idea to drink enough water so that you're producing clear, pale urine. On race day, drink 1-2 cups of a fluid an hour or so before the start of the race, which should work out so that you're wanting to relieve yourself just before the gun goes. During the race remember to consume several ounces of water or a sports re-hydration drink every 20-30 minutes and make sure the liquid goes down the hatch rather than down your running shirt - walk whilst you're drinking if you have to! Remember that you should drink before you get thirsty, as by the time you feel thirsty, you're already behind on fluids.
No set of marathon training tips, would be complete without a mention of footwear; when it comes to running gear your shoes are the most important weapon in your arsenal. Ensure that any new shoes have been broken in at least two weeks prior to the race, wear socks which fit your feet well, and apply a thin layer of Vaseline to the toes and other spots which tend to chafe, such as the heel and ball of the foot, which should help to prevent blistering.
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