Be Marathon ready with our 26 tips devised by our experienced running team who have garnered wisdom through thousands of running miles! At The Edge Sports Shop we have seasoned marathoner’s who have travelled and raced all over the world. They have put their noggins together and come up with 26 tips – one for each mile – to help you prepare and complete your challenge.
Build Up To Race Day
- Taper Off – There is not much to gain a week or so from race day by going for a long run but potentially much to lose. Keep the muscles primed by going for some shorter runs which won’t exert as much energy nor risk potential niggles like a long run would.
- Familiarise The Course – “If you know your enemy and know yourself you need not fear 100 battles”. Some parts of the course may be more challenging than others. Perhaps there are hilly parts of the course which will require more effort and energy. Know where they are and at what stage of the race to expect them.
- Sleep Well – Build up to the marathon by ensuring you pack in a few days of solid nights sleep. Some opine two nights before is even more important than the night before so ensure a good nights kip!
- Carb Load – Don’t underestimate the importance of what you eat. Your body will be converting your chosen food and drink into fuel, and some are easier to burn than others. Choose carbohydrate rich foods over protein and you will reap the benefits. Natural food with a variety of veg in the run up as opposed to loading whey and energy powders and bars.
- Prepare The Night Before – Sounds obvious but there is always some who wait until the morning of the race to get their kit together. Don’t waste mental energy you’re going to want in the tank later. Your brain is 2% of your body weight yet burns 20% of the calories. Reduce the stress to perform at your best.
- Ask For Support – It’s as much a mental battle as it is a physical one, if not more so. Give yourself a mental boost by stationing friends and family at different parts of the course. It will make the world of difference.
Race Day Morning
- Eat Early In The Morning – You want to be eating 2 1/2 to 3 hours prior to start time to give the body time to digest the sustenance you’re about to use!
- Toilet Time – Eating early will also help you do the recommended toilet trip.
- Nothing New On Race Day – The old adage, and for good reason! Only wear, eat and drink what your body is used to. In with the old out with new.
- Get There Early – Avoid potential stress by getting to the start line in good time. Converse with other racers and soak up the atmosphere.
- Tag Yourself – Put your name on your top and you will find the local support will often encourage you! It can go a long way.
- Review + Visualise – Remind yourself of all the effort you have put in to reaching race day. The hardest work is done and you’re more than ready to complete your goal!
- Don’t Overthink It – It’s just another long run. Don’t put race day on a pedestal!
- Bring a jumper/spares – Bring some layers you can keep warm in prior to the race and potentially happy to discard if needs be. Also bring spares that you can change into post-race!
- Break The Course Into Bitesize Chunks – 26.2 Miles can be an intimidating number for some. However if you break it down into smaller chunks such as 5 mile intervals it can be easier to mentally digest! Do whatever you must to gain your Edge.
- Slow + Steady Wins (or finishes) The Race – Don’t let the adrenaline of race day influence your pace. If anything go slightly slower for the first few miles and you can always up the pace later. The last 6.2 are harder than the first 20!
- Pace – If you have a time in mind stick to it. There are often pacers who are easy to find and will run at the perfect pace to finish at your desired time. But listen to your body on race day – if you’re not feeling it, reduce your pace.
- Hydrate – Drink before you need to. You could be feeling fine one minute and dehydrated the next. Pre-empt it by drinking at every opportunity. Don’t let dehydration be your downfall.
- Fuel Before You Have To – Fatigue makes cowards of us all. Eat before you’re hungry. It will take your body time to digest the bars/ gels and convert to energy. As stated earlier make sure its food you have used before. The best way to beat the dreaded “wall” is to make sure you consume the fuel you need to well in advance – taking your first energy boost at mile 18 when you are fatiguing is a bit late. But every one has different reserves and fuel requirements – which is where your training will have enlightened you on yours.
- Tuck-In – Should it be a windy day you can get some respite by jogging behind a group of runners. This can sometimes feel more than just a marginal gain!
The Final 6.2
- The Infamous ‘Wall’ – You may be confronted by it at the latter stages of the race, but like everything in life ‘it will pass’. When you’re going through hell, keep going! If you have hydrated and fuelled effectively it will increase your chances of bypassing this barrier!
- Remember Your ‘WHY’ – When the going gets tough remember why you decided to sign up. Was it to test yourself? For charity? One off the bucketlist? Whatever the reason remember your ‘Why’.
- Finish – Make that finishing line! Particularly if it’s your first marathon don’t be disheartened if you’re not set to make your target time. If you have to walk to the finish line so be it!
- Don’t Stop Moving – Your legs may be jelly but don’t stop moving completely. Try to walk around even if it’s at a turtle pace – help your body warm down safely and avoid fainting !
- Change – Change into dry clothes and comfy shoes , we like Oofos recovery shoes in-particular!
- Eat Something – You can now enjoy something more substantial and tastier than a gel or energy bar! A mix of carbs to restore glycogen levels and protein is ideal to help with muscle recovery.
3.2 Revel In It – It’s quite an amazing achievement completing a marathon! Enjoy it and be proud of yourself!