Every runner is aware of how much they need to rest your legs, especially when their upcoming marathon race is drawing near.
Resting is just as important as knowing how to gear up. Days before the race are crucial for packing and preparing. It’s around the same time when most runners start obsessing over details, like what to wear or what to eat before the race.
Don’t let your mind trick you into doing something you’re not supposed to. At this point, you shouldn’t be trying anything new. Trust the routines that you’ve worked hard to establish. Nerves will creep up on you, but don’t let them get to you.
An athlete’s mental endurance is just as important as the trained body. Here’s a quick guide on what to do on days and the night before your marathon.
Load Up on Carbs
A week before race day is the best time to start bulking up. If you’ve been training hard for the past few months and eating right, your stomach lining may have decreased significantly. You may have lost a few pounds even. It’s possible that your ability to digest food is not the same as it was before.
Food situation can be a little tricky for marathoners. Some runners have weakened stomachs and may need at least more than three hours to digest before they can run again. Others can eat anything they want to an hour before a gruesome run and not feel sluggish in any way.
You have to know which works best for you before race day. Adjusting your diet seven or ten days before the race should be fine. The key is to monitor your sudden increased food intake. Since your appetite is not what it used to be, try out small quantities of carbs, and note the timing of your intake before you run.
Start on dishes with high starch content, like pasta, rice, or sweet potatoes. See if the adjustment makes you lazy or has any kind of effect on your running. Ensure that your carb consumption is higher than your usual. From there, you can plan what you should eat on race day.
On the night before the marathon, that’s the time you should eat your last big meal. But don’t let race jitters get to you. Most racers will succumb to pressure and end up stuffing themselves with too many carbs. Try to avoid this so you won’t feel bloated and you can perform at your optimum best when race time starts clicking in.
Out with the New, In with the Old or Worn
When you’re packing for a marathon, it’s best to start from the outside. A little dress rehearsal never hurt anyone. But remember that the clothes you’re trying on are not supposed to be new—you’ve already worn them before or have undergone the usual breaking-in process.
Same goes for shoes, water belts, socks, sunglasses, and the rest of your gear. If you’re doing a marathon in cold weather, have sufficient head warmers like ponytail running hats or headbands. For as long as your chosen headgear doesn’t block your view path, you should be good to go.
Lay out your race-day clothes, and try them on weeks before the actual race, ideally, around the same time you start adjusting your diet. Doing this will somehow help lessen any feeling of nervousness as you wait for race day to come. But if you’ve made a typical rookie error and bought loads of new stuff to try out, fret not because you can there are smart ways to sell stuff online.
Hours before Race Day
The night before the race, you should wear your leg warmers to keep the blood flowing. It’s like leaving the oven warm before putting in the cake. You won’t have to start from zero by the time you wake up in the morning for the race.
If you’re doing a summer leg, wear your sunglasses to avoid direct sunlight in your eyes. This will help you save your energy from squinting and will let you see the race path ahead easier. Loose singlets or tank tops should be in your running agenda.
Remember that your body’s temperature will rise as you go further along with the race. Nylon or other types of technical fibers are definitely in for shorts. For as long as you steer clear of cotton, you should be fine.
Shoes that provide you with cushion and stability during running are your best bet. Some prefer to go barefoot during a marathon. If you haven’t trained for this type of running, race day is not the time to try it for the first time.
Also, you’ll never know the elements that may be present further down the road. To avoid exposing your feet to unnecessary danger, wear your most comfortable shoes, and throw in a moisture-flicking pair of socks while you’re at it.
Make sure that you don’t overeat and put on extra weight. Every additional pound will hurt your knee the most and may affect your running stride. Focus on getting good carbohydrate sources like brown rice, bagels, and other types of whole grains.
While you’re experimenting with what works best for you in terms of food, wrap your knees with a backup support system like muscle tapes. This way, you know your knees are not taking too much beating even when you do put on a few extra pounds.
Also, no matter what you do, always maintain a positive mind during the race. What you wear or what you eat and all the preparation you’ve done will go down the drain if your mind is not up to speed with the task at hand. You’ll be up against a lot of potentially dangerous and discouraging obstacles during the race.
You want to keep your brain on your corner as your ultimate ally while your body focuses on doing the heavy lifting. With your mind and your body functioning as a unit, you’ll surely have a fantastic time at the marathon.