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!