With the last few marathons coming up before the end of year and all the time and effort you have put in to your training, you should do everything you can to prepare for your marathon and maximise your race. Here are five tips to make sure you are ready for your big race.
Be kind to your body and listen to what it needs; after all, it’s the only thing that will get you over the finish line. Have a rest day before your race and don’t push yourself. If you feel like you need to do some sort of exercise the day before a race, stick to a very slow, short jog or a small walk to stretch your legs. You could even use this as an excuse to treat yourself and to get a relaxing massage! You have trained so hard for this event and having one day off will not impact your fitness.
Make sure you also get plenty of sleep in the lead up to the event. Depriving your body from sleep will not give it the time it needs to recover, leaving you feeling fatigued and unfocused. Fortunately, if you didn’t manage to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep the night before, the adrenaline usually overrides your symptoms and has shown that it is unlikely to effect your performance.
To help prepare your body for a marathon, you should start to increase your daily carbohydrate intake a few days before your event. Eating complex carbs whilst you’re training for a marathon will increase your glycogen supply, which will assist you to improve your performance on the day of the race.
Try not to go to overboard with carbs the night before though, you don’t want your body to feel sluggish overeating food that it’s not used to. Eating a well balanced diet and slowly increasing your carbs is key so that it is not a big shock to the body. Make sure you stick to what you know and what makes you feel good.
Staying hydrated can’t be stressed enough in the lead up to a marathon! Make sure to drink plenty of water a few days before the big event, especially the day before to prepare for your marathon. Try not to drink excessively though, you just want to stay well-hydrated so you can just top up in the morning before the race.
Write a list of everything you need and lay it all out ticking it off as you go. Make sure to lay out what you’re wearing; socks, shoes, sunscreen, Vaseline or specialised cream to prevent any rubbing or chafing, and anything else you think is important. Don’t forget to bring your shots of CrampFix to avoid cramping on the day!
Organising everything before your event will reduce the stress of loosing or not being able to find something in the morning. Try to avoid using anything new such as new running shoes or food just in case it makes you uncomfortable and puts you off your game.
The day you have been training so hard for has finally arrived! It is ideal to have breakfast 2-3 hours before a race so your body has had enough time to digest and absorb the nutrients and energy. Have a meal that is high in carbs to keep you energised and keep protein, fat, and fibre consumption low. Top up with water before your race to stay hydrated.
Keep your warm-up short. Get your blood pumping and your body ready to run at race pace, but don’t use all of your energy before the race has begun. Believe in yourself and trust your training and try not to get caught up in everyone else’s goals. Focus on your own goal and pace yourself.
Finally, have fun and remember why you are here and why you love running!
Keep your eyes out for CrampFix at the Melbourne Marathon.
Event: Melbourne Marathon Festival
Where: Melbourne Cricket Ground
When: October 13, 2019
If you have any other tips to prepare yourself before a marathon, we would love to hear them in the comments below!
Winning the marathon in a time of 2 hours 31 minutes 32 seconds, a personal best and cramp free marathon for Caleb.
The secret weapon Caleb used was CrampFix, an effective new alternative for cramping used by recreational and professional athletes worldwide.
“I drank one Lemon CrampFix Shot just before the race and had an Espresso CrampFix Shot about the 33km mark. My quads normally start to cramp about the 36km mark so this time I was able to hold on until the end”
Caleb has been using CrampFix for over 12 months to help overcome annoying and disruptive muscle cramps in the pool, on the bike and when running. During long training sessions and on race day.
CrampFix can be used by runners of all levels, not just winners!
CrampFix was developed for professional football players who commonly struggle to stay on the field for an entire game. The players needed a solution and so after 3 years of trialing the CrampFix formula, the brand was launched onto the market so that other athletes could manage their cramps.
What causes muscle cramps and how to get rid of them?
Unfortunately, not too many people can answer this! But we can offer a few insights and theories:
You rarely see cramps at the start of a game or race. However, it is common to see athletes cramp at the end which leads us to believe that fatigue is a likely contributor.
For many years some researchers have long suggested dehydration and electrolyte imbalance (such as decreased salt content) as a cause. But recent reviews have downplayed this theory, as the evidence is mostly observational. This means while there may be an association between dehydration, salt depletion, and cramps, we can’t prove one caused the other.
In these studies, people who were prone to cramps did NOT have differences in hydration or electrolyte content compared to people who were not prone to cramps!
Furthermore, all the muscles in the body would cramp if electrolyte imbalance was implicated. Cramping is usually experienced in actively used muscles.
Salt tablets and magnesium have been commonly used for cramps, but because electrolyte imbalance and dehydration don’t appear to be the cause, their usefulness is debatable.
Other causes of muscle cramps include side effects from some medications, diet or perhaps have a family history of cramping.
Lack of strength and conditioning may also play a role in exercise-related muscle cramps.
Science is now proving there is a fast way of getting rid of muscle cramps
The latest science in relation to getting rid of muscle cramps relates more to a neurological connection. Particularly in terms of rapid relief during activity. Studies conducted with professional rugby players have shown that despite hydration, strength, conditioning & nutrition being monitored, cramping can often still occur. Hence the effectiveness of using a product that stimulates a neural response. Products like CrampFix are able to quickly activate sensory nerves in the mouth, triggering the overactive nerve signals to release the cramp – quickly.
Swallowing and digesting is not required! Cramps disappear just by swirling the liquid around the mouth and discarding it! This is how to get rid of cramps quick enough to stay in the game.
If you’re wanting to use CrampFix in your next triathlon but aren’t sure just how to … read this race report by Ironman Triathlete & Ultraman Kristin Trappitt.
“For the Ironman 70.3 Geelong I took an Espresso CrampFix pre swimming as I can get quad and calf cramps during the swim. Not on Sunday thankfully!.
On the ride I had a Raspberry CrampFix at 20km and again at 65km. These help me as I have tight calves and it helps me stay looser into the run.
This was a tough run, especially with the warming conditions. A Lemon CrampFix at the end of Lap 1 of the run and NO CRAMPING issues at all during the day!
I continue to enjoy the benefits of CrampFix with all my extended days. Be it training or racing and I’m happy they work for me”
December 2018. Photo of Kristin Trappitt and Rod Miller.
This insightful article explains how hydration cannot be the issue:
“One of the most common reasons for failure in the marathon is suffering from muscle cramping. As many seasoned marathon veterans know, these muscle cramps can be one of most frustrating reasons for a poor performance. Typically, when you suffer from a cramp, everything else is going pretty well. The pace feels easy, you’ve got plenty of energy, and a new PR seems almost inevitable. Then bang! Your calf cramps and it takes everything you have just to crawl to the finish.
As we’ve been taught to do from the billions of dollars funneled into the sports drink market every year, most runners blame a lack of fluid or electrolyte intake for their untimely cramp. So, for their next marathon they work on drinking more often.
Unfortunately, as many marathoners know, this rarely solves the problem. It seems no matter how often we drink or how precisely we try to optimize our electrolyte levels, the same darn calf cramp returns late in the race.
This is because your marathon cramping isn’t likely a hydration or electrolyte issue at all. Rather, the problem is what we call a “muscle overloading” or a fatigue cramp. This occurs when the neural mechanisms that are supposed to inhibit muscle contraction are depressed and the chemical and electrical synapses that fire the muscle fibres are enhanced. The result is an intense, sustained involuntary muscle contraction”.
*How to beat marathon muscle cramps by Jeff Gaudette / October 24, 2018
Products such as CrampFix are able to interrupt these enhanced electrical synapses that are firing the muscle fibres. CrampFix was developed with professional Rugby players who commonly suffer cramps during a game. After three years of trialling the formula it was concluded that it can be used at the time of cramp AND/OR prior to getting a cramp. After drinking or swirling the product the response is almost immediate due to the neurological activation.
Studies by Dr Kevin Miller were considered as a basis for the idea of treating cramps in this way. Dr Miller conducted several studies where athletes were induced electrically with cramp after which they were fed varying formulas. Despite not being able to find out why athletes cramp, he was able to link successful treatment to consumption of low ph formulas.
If you are worried about the dreaded cramp, why not give CrampFix a try? It’s being used around the world by professional and recreational athletes across many different sports. Stay Brave, Stay Strong, Stay Focused, Stay Cramp Free!!
The First Time Using CrampFix
by Ash Hunter, Ironman 70.3 Triathlete
Ever since starting triathlon in 2015 I’ve experienced muscle cramps in almost every race, usually on the run and was finding I’d start to cramp on the bike in a half Ironman too.
While walking through the Cairns Ironman Expo in 2017, I came across CrampFix and asked how their product works, what athletes have used it before and what have the athletes said about it. After having a chat to Jan and Michelle, the owners, I decided to buy a couple of bottles. I don’t usually like to try new things on race day but thought I’d just have it there as an “in case of emergency” situation.
I carried a bottle in my bento box on the bike and put the other one in my back race suit pocket when I got into Transition 2 for the run.
I ended up having a mouthful on the bike around the 60km mark when I could feel the very start of a muscle cramp going on. The cramps stayed at bay until 12km on the run when I could feel another one about to start so I had another mouthful and the cramps disappeared again.
I always keep a CrampFix sachet or bottle on me for training and racing now and haven’t looked back.
The sports medicine community and athletes often contribute exercise related muscle cramping to dehydration or an imbalance of electrolytes. However, in an astonishing study performed by a professor of sports medicine and the director of Ironman South Africa in 1997, the conclusion was drawn that exercise-associated muscle cramping due to dehydration or electrolyte imbalances is a misconception.  This conclusion was drawn after the director followed 1300 runners during the competition.
Electrolytes and hydration must make their way through the bloodstream in order to have an effect on muscle cramps. This process takes much too long to provide relief. In fact, it takes one hour for electrolytes, 30 minutes for bananas,  and five minutes for water.  For athletes, this amount of time can hinder performance due to the lack of relief of their muscular cramps.
But what about using these methods to prevent cramps rather than using them to stop cramps once they start? Even as a preventative, these measures are still not an effective choice. Researchers performed sweat testing of laborers in shipyards and mines 100 years ago. What was found was that the sweat contained high levels of chloride, which makes up half of the salt content in your sweat. This resulted in leading scientists to believe that it was the absence of this electrolyte causing muscles to malfunction rather than dehydration. 
The reason behind why electrolytes and hydration has little to no effect has to do with the neuromuscular fatigue theory. This theory believes that the issue is not with the muscles; it has to do with the nerves that control the muscles. Furthermore, the theory states:
● Muscle contractions are initiated by a nerve, referred to as the alpha motor neuron.
● This neuron receives messages from your brain, known as conscious movements, and also from your spinal reflexes (unconscious movements).
● Spinal reflexes stop muscles from stretching or loading in excess.
● Neuromuscular fatigue causes an elevation in firing from the reflexes that protect against stretching, which results in excessive muscle contractions (cramps).
If you’ve ever experienced a brain freeze from drinking or eating something cold, you know it’s uncomfortable. This reaction is caused by the nerves in the mouth and esophagus being topically stimulated. CrampFix uses a unique blend of ingredients which targets these nerve receptors in a person’s mouth and throat, which provides near immediate relief to your body’s neurological response. In addition, since CrampFix does not go through the bloodstream, the product relieves muscle cramps and also prevents them within 60 seconds of taking it.