The Edinburgh Marathon Festival is finally here! If you are one of the many people who have been training for months to challenge your body and mind this weekend, you my feel increasing excitement and anticipation, especially if you have never run a marathon before.
Ideally you have stopped intensive training and long runs about a week ago to allow your body to recover fully for race day, and your focus is on how to mentally prepare for the hours on the course.
Do you know what else you should be doing the last few days leading up to race day? Here are 10 easy tips to keep you focused and help you get to the Finish line.
1. Stay Hydrated
That should be a given on any week, but if you know you tend to struggle to drink enough water in general, make sure you try your best to drink your 8 glasses a day minimum. I’d not recommend loading up on alcohol because it can affect your sleep and has a dehydrating effect on your body. Focus on water, juicy fruits and sports drinks.
2. Keep Off Your Feet
This goes for the whole week and particularly on race day before the event. Rest as much as you can, your muscles and body will appreciate it. If you feel restless the days before, go for a short and easy run if you must but don’t overdo it.
3. Check Your Gear
Professionals recommend sticking with running clothing, avoid cotton at all cost and make sure you tested every piece a good few times before race day. You don’t want something new to turn out to be a bad choice and potentially ruining your experience or your skin.
4. Keep Your Food to the Basics
Meaning, you shouldn’t be experimenting with new meals or ingredients in the days leading up to the race to prevent any unexpected reactions from your body. Stick to foods you like and enjoy, increase your carb intake in the last few days but keep your portions in control.
5. Trim Your Toenails
This is for you rookie marathon runners. A very small thing you may not think about until it’s too late many miles into your race. Probably everybody makes that mistake once. You don’t have to, just trim them the night before, make it part of your pre-race evening routine.
6. Set Your Alarm
Plan to get up earlier than you normally would to allow enough time for breakfast, all morning routine and leaving earlier in case traffic is bad. Also plan yor route to the Start line and prepare for alternatives too so you don't need to stress just before the race.
7. Get Inspired
Whatever makes you tick can come handy the night before. You may want to put a sport related motivational film on, like Rocky, or watch anything where people overcame a big obstacle in life, or maybe you just need to see some nature documentary to calm you down.
8. Pre-Race Night Sleep Can Be Bad
Try not to get nervous about not being able to sleep well the night before, it is normal. Adrenaline will take you and your body through the race. Ideally you have planned your weekend in a way that you don’t have any important commitments on race day and the day after, so you can rest and sleep.
9. Get in the Zone
On race day, use visualisation, meditation or just great music. Whatever that will help you stay calm and relaxed. Have your breakfast prepared, don’t rely on picking something up at the venue. If you trained with a specific brand of gels and sports drinks, make sure you have them ready too.
10. Weather Prep is Essential
Even if you checked the forecast million times, you can never be sure how it will turn out. Too much sun and heat can be detrimental, so can running in soaking wet shoes and socks. Make sure your gear is weather proof and have everything you may need with you on that morning in case you need to make last minute adjustments.
Probably it won’t feel perfect. You will have mental and potentially physical struggles on the route. Just remember how long you have trained for this, why you have started and trust your body. On the other hand if you feel something is not right, don’t hesitate to ask for help from the marshals.
If you intend to enrol to the Edinburgh Marathon Festival in 2019 or even the Scottish Half Marathon, there is no better time to start training than now. Feel free to get in touch to have a chat about where you are now and how to get your running miles in between now and then.
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My name is Calumn, founder of CD Fitness. You’ll find me in and around the gym and helping like minded people get the results they deserve. I enjoy everything from keeping fit, yoga, snowboarding, coffee and making people happy. If you would like to be apart of the bigger community join my Facebook group, Healthy Living With CD Fitness Coaching is a must.