Having run a few marathons in my short career I thought I would share my race day tips!
Enjoy and nay questions please ask.
Stick to whatever you’re used to and only take advice on the things you might find helpful
Get a good night’s sleep, it’s the most important night. Stay off you your feet the day before (you could go for an ultra slow 15 minutes jog), drink water and relax.
Pack your marathon bag and lay your race day outfit out, the night before. It will help you sleep as you won’t be thinking about what you need to pack/remember.
Take your race number, scrunch it into a small ball and then open it up fully again. Making it crumply stops it from acting like a sail while you’re running.
Stick to the breakfast you usually have before a long run.
Smear your feet (esp. toes) in Vaseline when you put your socks and shoes on in the morning. It will feel squidgy for a few minutes but then your feet absorb it and it stops the blistering.
Pack a loo roll to take with you to the start. Loos there will ALWAYS run out.
Rather get there early and sit around at the start than have to jog to the start if you’re late. Make sure you know how long the journey from the hotel to the race start is.
Take an old ‘throw-away’ t-shirt and a bin bag (cut 3 holes for head and arms) to wear once you’ve put your finish bag on the truck. If cold, run with them on for a few miles until you’re feeling warm and then bin them. Don’t waste energy trying to keep warm while you wait in the start pens.
Take water to sip and a banana (if is suits your digestive system) to eat before the gun goes off.
Stretch a little before the start but don’t worry about doing a jog to warm-up. You’ll have plenty time to get warm.
Don’t stress if the going is slow at the start. Think of it as a blessing as starting out too quickly will come back to haunt you later on. Seriously don’t worry if you feel the pace is too slow. Because you’ve trained well, the first half of the race will feel easy. It’s the second half that you’re saving it for.
Run consistent. Stick to your mile splits but if you feel it’s too hard to keep reaching them, slow down a few seconds and reassess your goal time. (Better to slow down than blow up.)
Take water from the end of the watering tables. It’s less busy. There’s so many watering tables, only drink when you feel you need to, not at each one. Don’t carry the water you pick up. Take one, have a few sips and throw it. Energy is wasted carrying it.
Have a bag for afterwards of clothing, food and drinks; a “reward” bag.