I’m only a two-time marathoner, which doesn’t make what I’m about to say any less credible, but what I’m getting at is that you don’t have to be a fifty-time marathoner to give someone tips on preparing for the big day.
When I ran my first marathon I was prepared, but I feel like there are some things about running a marathon you don’t know unless you just do it.
- Make sure your iPod is fully charged, and I mean FULLY CHARGED. My iPod didn’t run out of battery, but I know people whose did because they underestimated the amount of time it would take them to finish the race. If you’re like me and absolutely need to run to music, bring a back up iPod if you can (borrow someone’s if you need to), but just make sure you’re set with your music.
- Lay out every single thing you need the night before. From your socks to your bra to your gel packs to your headband to your underwear. You’re so nervous when you wake up the day of the race, you might overlook the little things, like putting an extra bobby pin in your hair or putting on those lucky socks. Just getting everything laid out the night before.
- Know what to eat the morning of the race. This might sound silly, but you aren’t just eating to head out for a jog in the park. You’re about to run 26.2 miles. Eat something that will energize you until you get to your first gel pack (or whatever energy supplement you take). Don’t eat something the morning of that might make your stomach queasier than it already is from nerves.
- You don’t necessarily need to carb load the night before. I learned this my first year. I downed WAY too much pasta and bread the night before, that I actually didn’t feel the best the morning of. The second year I learned you should start carb loading two days before the race. Trust me, your body WILL store the excess carbs for energy. The night before don’t overdo it, because like I said, it might give you a stomachache, especially if your body isn’t used to consuming all that food.
- Lastly, JUST HAVE FUN! The first year I took it way too seriously. The second year, I went into it just knowing I wanted to have a good time. Not every single person running the race is trying to finish at a certain time. Most of the people are running to just do it! Make friends at the start line, at mile five, at mile 10, at mile 20 and just have a great time!
- Get there early! There’s going to be traffic and a TON of people. Be prepared. It’s much better to be earlier than later. Bring an extra bagel with if you need to. Depending on what corral you’re in, you might not cross the start line until 45 minutes after the race starts.
YOU GOT IT!!!! Be confident! You trained hard!