No marathon training schedule is complete without a detailed plan for the big day itself. After all, this is the day you've been working so hard for and you do not want to leave things to chance.
Here are some top tips to make sure you get the most out of race day and cross that finish line in top form.
Marathon Training Schedule for Beginners: Tips for Race Day
When you first began your marathon training schedule for beginners, chances are you had at least some doubt that you would survive the grueling 3 or 4 month training regimen and actually make it to race day. Now that you have, though, first give yourself a pat on the back and a resounding “congratulations.” You've already accomplished what many can only dream about and for that you should be very proud. Now, try to follow the tips presented here, as you set your sights on the grand event just hours away.
- Wake up early enough to ensure you have time to attend to personal personal pre-race matters-eating, drinking, a trip to the bathroom, getting dressed, etc.
- Check the day's weather forecast to make sure you're fully prepared for the race.
- Leave for the race site in plenty of time to check in and get used to the surroundings.
- Eat a light, healthy snack no more than 30 minutes prior to race time.
- Continue drinking water and other liquids up until approximately 20 minutes before the race.
- Stretch thoroughly.
- Have fun! You've worked hard to get to this point so enjoy the atmosphere and the camaraderie.
- Line up according to your expected pace. Keep in mind that the more competitive racers will jockey for the front spots.
- Pace yourself during the race just as you did during the training runs in the weeks leading up to the race. Getting caught up in the moment and initiating a pace that is too fast could hamper your chance of finishing.
- Take advantage of EVERY fluid station, drinking plenty of water and sports drinks to replace fluids and electrolytes lost during the race.
- Supplement if you wish with carbohydrates or protein bars.
- Try to stay loose and relaxed, shaking out your arms and legs frequently.
- Keep socializing to a minimum. There will be plenty of time to socialize after the event.
- Do your best to finish, enjoying the spectators and the overall tone of the day.
- Stay on your feet. Lying down after the race may cause leg soreness and cramping.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Eat a small snack about 15 minutes after finishing the race.
- Stretch for at least 20 minutes after completing the race. This will help prevent soreness later on.
- Celebrate. Later in the evening try to celebrate your accomplishment with friends and family. If you trained well for the event you should have no limits.
How you prepare for race day can have a huge impact on how you will feel both during and after the race. If you prepare ideally beforehand by following a marathon training schedule for beginners, and follow the few simple tips outlined above, the day will almost certainly be a memorable one.