There are no two ways about it, running a marathon is hard. These 5 tips are aimed at making your next marathon race day a little easier so you can push yourself through to the next level with out worrying about the small things that can see your PB times slip from your grasp.
Tip 1: Most people know to cut their toes nails before race day so they don't get blisters. Rather than cutting them the night before the race it is best to cut them approximately a week before the race so it gives you time to trim them up if you under cut them or to give them a chance to grow back if you over cut them.
Tip 2: Don't try new gear on race day. This is quite a simple tip but it is one that can have such a massive impact on your race day performance if you get it wrong. Right from the small items such as sun screen, socks and underwear through to the bigger items such as shoes, shirts and shorts. Make sure it is all well worn in and trialed thoroughly during training before the big day. No one likes bloody nipples in their finishing photo.
Tip 3: Trial your hydration and nutrition plan at least three times before race day. Your long sessions are an ideal time to insure that everything sits well and does not cause you any stomach upsets.
Tip 4: Mental preparation is just as important as your physical preparation. Sit down at least 2 weeks before the race and start to compile a race plan. Make sure you know the course profile, distance markers and aide stations so you know exactly what to expect on race day. Also spend some time working through the worst case scenarios. What happens if it is wet and cold, what will you wear? What happens if you drop a gel in the first 5km? Preparing for the 'what ifs' and having plan in place can really help control your nerves leading into race day.
Tip 5:During your taper period the key things to keep in mind is that the only thing you can do, is too much. So really dial it back and give the body the time it needs to recover fully before race day. Also during this time it is common that you will likely start to feel 'tight' and have some little niggles creep in. This is because you are not moving your body through your normal range of motion in training. To help combat this, really work on getting stuck into your stretching and rolling to keep you feeling good.
If you need more help to train smarter for your next marathon then make sure you get your FREE inside preview of the Marathon Training Plan.