Okay it’s Marathon Time and there are only 3 days until the Dublin Marathon and a lot of you are most likely nervous and anxious, but remember, you have done the work, you’ve completed the training, there is nothing else you can do now – except run the race 🙂 So follow these helpful tips to make sure you have everything ready for Monday morning – you don’t want to forget something important, like your runners!
Possible Clothing Items
Check the weather prediction to see what kind of conditions to expect. But don’t assume that the weather forecast is correct — you should be prepared for the unpredicted weather.
- Short-sleeve running shirt
- Long-sleeve running shirt
- Arm warmers or knee socks to wear on your arms when you’re waiting at the start
- Sports bra
- Hat or visor
- Second pair of running shoes (for walking around before the marathon)
- Throw-away long-sleeve t-shirt and sweatpants (to warm up at the start of the race and then throw away once you warm up)
- Tights or other running pants
- Warm clothes to put on at the race finish
- Body Glide or Vaseline to prevent chafing
- Big plastic bin bag (to sit on while you’re waiting or wear if it’s raining at the start)
- Toilet paper (in case they run out at the Port-a-Loos at the start!)
- Sunglasses if you use them – don’t wear them if you haven’t ran with them before.
- Safety pins for your race bib
- Sports watch to track your time
- Sunscreen – You’d be surprised how burnt you might get even at low temps
- Hydration bottle holder (if you plan on using one)
- Running belt (to hold race fuels)
- Plasters or blister patches (or both!)
Possible Food Items
You’ll want to pack foods that you’ve already experimented with before and during your training runs. Don’t assume that you’ll be able to buy specific energy gels, bars, or other food at the race expo. It’s better to buy them ahead of time and pack them, so you’re guaranteed to have the foods that you like and you’ve trained with in the past.
- Bottled water
- Race fuels (energy bars, gels, sport beans, or other foods that you’ve been training with)
- Snacks/breakfast foods (e.g., bagels, fruit, etc.)
- Sports drinks
- Salt packets or tablets (if you used them in training)
As you’ve been doing before your long training runs, you should be eating about 65-70% of your calories from carbs in the days leading up to your race. Don’t stuff yourself at dinner the night before. Carbo-loading does not mean that you should eat three plates of pasta for dinner. As many runners like to say, “Too much ‘loading’ can lead to ‘unloading’ during the race.” Eat amounts of food that you would normally eat.
2. Avoid Any Unusual Foods
Stick with foods that have worked well for you before your long training runs. If you’ve had trouble with runner’s trots during your training runs, follow these recommendations for the best and worst pre-run foods. If you’re planning to eat dinner out, check the restaurant’s menu to make sure they serve foods that you’ve eaten before your long runs.
3. Stay Hydrated
Drink plenty of water throughout the day. If you’re hydrating properly, your urine should be light yellow. You can also have one sports drink, to make sure you’re getting some extra electrolytes. Avoid alcoholic beverages because they have a dehydrating effect, and they’ll interfere with your sleep. Plus, it’s not a good idea to run with a hangover.
4. Don’t Overdo It
Stay off your feet, rest and relax. When you go to the race expo to pick up your race packet on Saturday or Sunday, don’t spend hours walking around, attending clinics, and eating free food samples. Spending too much time on your feet will tire you out, and hanging around big crowds at the expo may get you nervous about your race. It’s never a good idea to try new foods in the days before any race, let alone a full marathon — and that includes giveaways. When you do need to walk around (when you go to the expo, for instance), make sure you’re wearing running shoes or other very comfortable shoes.
5. Go For a Short Run, If You Need It
You’re not going to lose any fitness by resting the day before the marathon. But if you typically get pre-race anxiety, or you feel like you need to stay loose, it might be beneficial for you to do a very slow, 20-minute run the day before. If you do run, keep your thoughts positive and keep telling yourself that you’re ready for your race. If you think you perform better after rest, then just relax during those 24 hours leading up to the race. Whatever you do, make sure that you don’t do a significant workout that’s going to leave you feeling tired or sore the next day.
6. Make Sure Your Toenails are Trimmed
Check your toenails and clip any that are too long. Keeping your toenails neat and short will prevent them from hitting the front of your shoes, which can lead to bloody or black toenails.
7. Get Your Clothing and Gear Ready
- Lay out all your clothing and gear for the race the night before. Essential items include:
- Race bib (number) and safety pins & timing chip
- Running outfit, hat, shoes and socks
- Your race fuels, such as energy gels (whatever you’ve been training with)
- A product to prevent chafing, such as vaseline or Body Glide
8. Stay Relaxed
Use visualization techniques while you’re relaxing during the day. Check the course online and envision yourself on the course. Think positively about all the work you’ve put into your training.
9. Night Before the Marathon
Make sure you have everything ready so you have nothing to worry about on Monday morning. Try and have a peaceful and restful evening and get to bed early. Make sure your alarm is set if you have an early start to get to the race. If you are getting the Luas or bus, make sure you have your money or ticket and times checked.
10. Race Day
Take in the excitement of the other runners and the crowds and most importantly ENJOY YOURSELF – and remember one thing Chuck Norris never ran a marathon 🙂
Make sure you come back and let us know how your race went 🙂
I’ll be there cheering you all on so best of luck to each and everyone of you
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