With the Cork City Marathon only a few days away we have some advice to help make your experience a little easier. The hardest part of your half or full marathon training is over, but what you do during the day before your race can make or break your race.
- Eat Plenty of Carbohydrates
Load up on Carbs. As you’ve been doing before your long training runs, you should be eating about 65 to 70 percent of your calories from carbs in the days leading up to your race. Don’t stuff yourself at dinner the night before. Carb-loading does not mean that you should eat three plates of pasta for dinner.
- Avoid Any Unusual Foods.
Don’t Eat Weird Foods Before a Race. Stick with foods that have worked well for you before your long training runs.
- Stay Hydrated
Drink plenty of water throughout the day. If you’re hydrating properly, your urine should be light yellow. You can also have one sports drink to make sure you’re getting some extra electrolytes. Avoid alcoholic beverages because they have a dehydrating effect and they’ll interfere with your sleep.
- Don’t Overdo It
Don’t do anything crazy on the eve of the big race. Stay off your feet as much as you can.
- Go for a Short Run If You Need It
You’re not going to lose any fitness by resting the day before your half-marathon or marathon. But if you typically get pre-race anxiety, or you feel like you need to stay loose, it might be beneficial for you to do a very slow, 20-minute run the day before.
- Get Your Clothing and Gear Ready
Lay out all your clothing and gear for the race the night before. Essential items include:
- Race bib (number) and safety pins
- Race timing chip (if it’s not part of your race bib)
- Running outfit, hat, shoes, and socks
- Wristwatch or GPS watch
- Your race fuels, such as Energy gels (whatever you’ve been training with)
- Vaseline to help prevent chaffing
- Stay Relaxed
Relax as much as you can before the race. Try some visualization techniques to help you think positively about the race. Or why not try some meditation to help you unwind.
- Plan Breakfast
Make sure you have everything you need for breakfast. Don’t assume that you’ll be able to get certain foods at the race start—it’s better to be prepared and know you already have your food with you. Again, you should be eating breakfast foods that you tried out before your long training runs. Always remember, nothing new on race day.
- Review the Course Map
Even if you’ve already looked at the map (including the elevation map), review it one more time so you’ll know what to expect. It’s always good to know where you’ll hit some hills and how frequent the water stops are.
- Plan Your Trip to the Start
Make sure you know exactly how you’re getting to the start and that you’re anticipating any problems, like road closures and traffic jams caused by other racers arriving at the venue. If you’re driving to the start, make sure you have the right directions and know where you can park near the start. Give yourself plenty of time so you’re not nervous that you’ll miss the start if something unexpected happens. If you’re taking mass transit, do your research to see if there’s any potential for delays.
- Don’t Stress About Lack of Sleep
Don’t worry if you can’t sleep the night before your half or full marathon—most people do not sleep well the night before. One sleepless night is very unlikely to hurt your performance. Two nights before your race is the most important night of rest. The excitement and adrenaline rush from race day will give you enough energy for your race.
- Plan to Get Up Early
Set your alarm and double-check it. Give yourself plenty of time to get ready, eat breakfast, and get to the race start early. If you’re staying in a hotel, request a wake-up call, just to be safe.
The last bit of advice to enjoy the moment! You have done all the training and preparation needed so now it time to run the race!
Best of luck to all taking part in the Cork Marathon this weekend!
Pictured here is 2017 startline!