Marathon Prep – what to do the month leading up to your big race

NYC Marathon

The Ing NYC marathon is less than a month away, 26 days to be exact, and now is the time to remain calm and spend this last month focusing and prepping. You’ve worked so hard to get to this point and here are a couple tips to be ready for race day. Don’t save everything to the week of, you’ll be overwhelmed, start checking off your to do list now and you’ll be relaxed and ready to roll when the Marathon time comes.

  1. Have a taper plan. It’s hard mentally to cut back when you’re life has revolved around running and pushing your limits, but without tapering you’ll be burnt out on marathon day. Plan in advance how you will rest just like you plan out how you will train.
  2. Know the course. Be familiar with what mile markers are where, and know the following list:
    Where there are gu’s, water, Gatorade, oranges, bananas, etc.
    Toilets
    Photographers if you want to smile pretty for them
    Medical
    and God forbid, if you need to drop out at some point during the race, know how to go about it (you can be banned from future events if you go through the finish line after not running the course, nobody wants this)
    If you plan on making these stops along the course, now where to expect them and be ready for the crowd that will approach along with you. Schedule time into you race pace for these diversions.
  3. Will you run with a Pacer? Most of the course pacers run at an even pace all throughout the course, but if you have a different pacer you’re running with, discuss their plan to approach the goal time and make sure it matches yours. Same goes for if you’re running with a friend, talk about your race plan.
  4. Know the elevation of the course, I think this is equally, if not more important, than knowing the route. Elevation can greatly affect your pace and you should account for that as you run. Knowing the course elevation will help you keep on pace and you can adjust accordingly without blowing up your legs.
  5. Know what you’re wearing and do your long practice runs in your outfit. Know everything from your sports bra and where you need to put on body glide, to your socks, how tight you tie your sneakers, where you’ll put your gu and how you’ll do your hair. And do your long runs just like that. The last thing you want is a wardrobe malfunction to ruin your race. Also, be prepared for the weather, have options for different temps and conditions.
  6. Make dinner plans. If you’re traveling to a city you don’t live in, make reservations. NYC is swarming with runners the weekend of the marathon and last thing you need is to stress out about where to get a good meal that will fuel you. Talk to locals or read reviews online, I got food poisoning the night before a marathon one year and trust me, it really makes for a sucky race 🙂
  7. Have throw away clothes. You’ll be at the start for a while, before the day gets warm and it’ll be chilly. Have a hat, gloves, pants, long sleeve, etc. for before the race. Toss them when you are in line or as you’re running. Don’t worry, people come through and collect them and they go to charity. I know you all have some horrible race t-shirts that would be perfect for this.
  8. If you have people watching you, find out where they’ll be. It’s very easy to miss your friends in the crowd when thousands are cheering and you’re exhausted. Have them wear a certain color, hold a sign, ring a bell, anything that will help you find them. Also discuss with them if you’ll stop to say hi or not. If you’re racing for time, let them know you’ll wave but keep running, if not stop and take a photo. If they came all the way to stand and watch you run by for 2 seconds, let them know what to expect.
  9. Have a meet up spot. Are you running with someone? Make sure you have a spot chosen to meet after the race, even if it’s just the family meet location, discuss this before you start. I know a lot of people run with their phones, but if someone drops theirs or the battery dies, have a backup plan.
  10. Most importantly, have a way to celebrate. My husband and I always do a party in our apartment, the course goes right by it. I know that when I get home it’ll be to a happy, slightly drunk room filled with my bestest of friends. There will be a beer and a big ‘ole plate of food waiting for me. It will make a huge difference when I’m running and I think how much it sucks, all I have to do is think of this reward and I’ll keep moving. The quicker I’m done, to sooner the party can start!

What do you guys do to prepare for the marathon?

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