#MarMonTip! We’ve been posting a few marathon tips on our social media accounts every Monday to help you prepare for the big day! We compiled them here, plus a few more, with greater detail so you can be sure you’re ready for the 2015 London Marathon on Sunday! We hope you find a few nuggets of wisdom in here that you haven’t thought about yet and they help you on your way to a great experience on Sunday. Best of luck to you all!!! We’ll be out there cheering you on!
Before the big day! Your focus and mood going into the race will have a great effect on your experience.
1. Make sure you get plenty of rest this weekend. If you do choose to run the day before the race, take it easy and try to run on a soft surface, being mindful of not injuring yourself by stepping on uneven ground or in a hole.
2. You should have already been increasing the percentage of carbohydrates over this last week. It’s not time to start eating giant meals and changing your diet now – stick to what you’ve been eating, especially the morning of the race, to ensure your body digests everything well. Make sure you hit the hay early so you have plenty of time to eat, drink, digest, and get to the start of the race without feeling rushed.
3. Cut your toenails! Don’t forget to cut your toenails down and file any sharp edges. Your feet will get enough of a beating – don’t add to the potential pain!
4. Pack your bag and lay out everything you will need the night before. Stay warm before the race – bring an extra layer that you don’t mind getting rid of before the race starts. Check the weather forecast, and if you’re used to wearing a hat, you may want to bring one because it looks like cooler temps and rain! Also, bring some Vaseline to prevent chaffing – you may especially need it if it rains as wet clothing can create more friction (synthetic fabrics will be more comfortable than cotton).
Race day outfit
5. Hopefully by this point you have gone for a long run in the clothing that you will wear on marathon day. This is to make sure it’s comfortable, minimizes chaffing, and well, yes, also makes you feel even more confident. Other tips to help minimize chaffing: lube up the areas that tend to chafe, wear seamless undergarments and for the men out there, a couple of plasters over the nips will work wonders. To give yourself another boost, write your name on your outfit or arm. The encouragement from supporters on the sidelines is a great way to keep your spirits up and give you that extra push.
6. On race day, just remember ‘nothing new’. If you haven’t worried about running technique up to race day, don’t worry about it on the day. If you haven’t tried energy gel, race day is not the time to discover they make you feel sick. And if you didn’t catch our Marathon Monday Tips on Twitter and Facebook, no new clothes or shoes. A marathon is not the time to break in new gear.
Better safe than sorry!
7. Imodium has saved the day for one of our directors before, so you may want to hide a dose in your pocket on race day. Also, bring along some loo paper as the porta-loos can be unpleasant and poorly stocked. Make sure you’re staying hydrated over the weekend and that you drink enough water/sports drink in the morning on race day – at least two glasses two hours before the race so your body has time to absorb the fluids. Don’t have anything to eat or drink 30 minutes before the race. Ideally, you should know how to refuel and rehydrate your body during the race from your long runs, but if not, keep consistent with small amounts of fluid intake during the race so you don’t get dehydrated. Amounts and frequency varies depending on how much you sweat and how hydrated you were going in.
Steady wins the race
8. Divide the race into manageable chunks. Have some key time targets for each 5 miles or so, and focus on one section at a time. Don’t get ahead of yourself!
Start your recovery right away
9. Make sure to bring warm, dry clothes and comfortable shoes to change into after the race. Get fluids in right away and eat a healthy meal (complete with a nice splurge – hey, you earned it!). Although you will surely feel you deserve to be sedentary for at least a week, make sure you at least continue walking every day. If you have it in you, go for a nice, easy cycle, swim or run in the days following the race. Do also rest your body, elevate your legs and if you’re brave, sit in an ice bath!
10. You’ve been training for this day for some time now, and you are about to challenge your body and mind, along with your peers and friends, in something not everyone has the determination or ability to accomplish. No matter what, be proud, be excited, have fun, and smile – especially when it feels the most challenging!