Five last-minute marathon tips from our expert
Pre-marathon tips to prepare for the big day

With marathon season upon us, training for the big day has been a marathon in itself, and now it’s time to put all that hard work to test. Here are five tips that are guaranteed to make your run a successful one:

Load up on carbs Three days before the race, start loading up on carbs and calorie-rich food like sweet potato, potato and oats.  While a person’s ideal carb consumption per meal should be 50-70%, at this time it should be increased to 80-85% in every meal. The carbs will fuel your body, giving you that extra energy boost for the big day. In addition, eat lots of water-rich fruits  like melon, pineapple, custard apple, grapes and avocado.  Marathons are draining, these fruits will help you maintain glucose levels as well as hydrate you.

Don’t buy new shoes It’s a common novice practice. Enthusiastic participants go out and buy new shoes to wear on marathon day. Don’t do that. You need to break your shoes in and do at least one month of practice before the marathon. New shoes immediately reduce distance and pace, and you’re likely to have balancing issues as the body isn’t used to the footwear.

Dress for the weather If it’s humid, wear dry-fit innerwear that deflects sweat and prevents chaffing. If it’s cold, wear thick socks and protect your fingers; if your extremities are protected, you’ll maintain a steady body temperature.

Ensure you get a rest day One day before the marathon, don’t run, take complete rest. It will leave you with a lot of stored energy that will help you perform well. Those who train professionally would already know this – even during the lead-up, they run one day, and take complete rest on the next – but there are many last minute participants who decide last minute to run, and practice a day earlier. As a result, they strain their muscles and lower extremity joints. Rest, along with 8-10 hours of sleep the night before will help keep your energy levels high on the big day.

Never skip the warm-up Getting in those 10-15 minutes of exercises before the run are very important. Do leg raises, knee raises (moving your leg too-and-fro or sideways like a pendulum), bend side-to-side, rotate your hips and ankles. A brisk walk to spot jog of about 10-15 yards from say, the race parking area to starting point will help prepare your body.

In addition to these tips, I would recommend using a stop watch of your own during the race to keep track of the distance covered and speed maintained. That way, you can compare and improve your speed for the next race. The other point I’d like to stress on is don’t start fast, or you’ll lose energy at some point. Begin slow, and pick up speed once you are half distance. You’re guaranteed to finish faster.

I guess you’re all set. Now it’s time to go!

Other marathon-related posts

Running after an injury

Are you marathon ready?

Top 10 energy-boosting foods for marathon runners

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Written by Suressh Kumar

Suressh Kumar

Money can’t buy you a good metabolism – it’s something you have to work towards by adapting a healthy lifestyle and incorporating a fitness regiment into your daily routine, says Suressh Kumar. A fitness trainer certified by Karnataka Fitness Academy, Fit India and ACE, Surressh specialises in marathon and sports performance training as well. His fondness for fitness saw him veering away from a career in computers, to become a full-time trainer. He loves that people see him as a role model and calls his fitness routine life-changing, an experience he’d like users of HealthifyMe to undergo too. Using benchmarks like lifestyle, cardio-endurance, muscle strength, flexibility and eating habits to determine how healthy you are, Suressh believes his fitness tips will help boost stamina and improve build. After he sets six month goals in keeping with your age, watch your workout work wonders!

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