- Devise a training program that works for you
If possible, work with a coach to devise a training program that is tailored to you. This will give you realistic motivational targets to aim for and ensure that it fits around the rest of your life. Here you can find a comparison of the best marathon training plans.
- Rest before the big day
Whilst you shouldn’t take a prolonged break during your training, try to spend the last couple of weeks before marathon day with lighter runs, with only short bursts at marathon pace.
- Warm up properly
It’s very easy to pull or strain a muscle when running so you will need to perform regular stretching exercises to keep yourself in tiptop condition. Do it before and after every time you exercise.
- Consume carbs
Carbohydrates are the foods that keep your body moving. It provides the glycogen for your muscles that affect how long and how fast you can run. If you up your carb intake you’ll have better endurance.
- Keep hydrated
A lot of a runner’s fluid is lost through sweating. If you become dehydrated, you won’t run your best. So drink regularly through the day and stick to un-caffeinated products like water with added sodium and juice.
- Don’t wear new shoes
If you need good running shoes then make sure that you buy them in advance so that they’re worn in by the time the big day comes around. New shoes make cause blisters and sore.
- Eat a good breakfast
No matter how nervous you are before the start of the race, make sure that you eat a good breakfast that is high in protein and carbohydrates. Banana muffins and eggs on toast sound good!
Don’t get distracted by everyone else and their own strategies. It doesn’t matter if they’re wearing different gear to you or are eating bananas on the start line like their life depends on it. You know your own body and your own plan so stick to it.
- Dress rehearse with longer and longer runs
Use some of your longer runs as full dress rehearsals for the big day. Run at the same time of day, wearing the same kit and eating your planned breakfast. Then you can make any changes before the actual marathon.
- Pace yourself
Proper pacing is essential. Try to run both the fist and second halves in the same time. If you set off too quickly it will come back to haunt you later in the race