So you’re doing a marathon. You’ve established your training schedule and you’re anticipating your long runs. Here are 5 things to put into practice on a consistent basis to ensure that, come race day, you’ve put in the work and you’re fully prepared.
1. Pre-run rituals – Are you the type that likes to get up an hour before your run? Or are you crawling out of bed just 15 minutes prior? Establish a routine that you can follow, that will make you both prepared and set you at ease.
2. Breakfast – Are you the bagel type? Oatmeal, banana and peanut butter? Or can you get by on just a bar? Don’t wait until the last minute to find out what works for you. Experiment with what provides you with enough sustenance, yet doesn’t make you feel weighed down (or mess with your digestive system!).
3. Fueling – How often do you need to replenish your system with water, electrolytes, carbohydrates, etc.? Typically, you should be fueling with 2oz of water every 15 minutes, and replenishing with a carbohydrate every 45 minutes for women and 35-40 minutes for guys (depending on size). Can you handle GU’s? Do you prefer sporty beans or gummy chews? Again, figure out what fits your taste, what works for you, and (again) won’t mess with your digestive system!
4. Clothes – What will you wear — Shorts? Leggings? Do you chafe? Get blisters? Do you use body glide? It’s important to test out what you plan to wear on race day to make sure that these unfavorable incidences won’t impact your run. And if you do find you run into these issues, you will already have a solution, and will know where to apply the necessary lube.
5. Gear – Will you run with a pack or will you grab water at the aid stations? Will you wear a backpack? Use a hand-held? Or a fuel belt that rests on your lumbar? These are important things to figure out ahead of time so you can adjust if one thing or another hinders your running or irritates you.