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'26.2' - The Marathon Training Website:

The '26.2' Top Ten Marathon Tips


These tips focus on the days just before the marathon as well as race day itself.

Iím assuming that you are in good health with no recent injuries. If this is not the case you might seriously consider withdrawing from the marathon, or at least running at a much slower pace than you intended initially.

Our Top Tips: -

1. Keep hydrated:
Not just during the race; try drinking the proverbial 8 cups of water per day for the entire week before the marathon. This way your body gets used to the extra fluid.

2. Check your shoes:
They should be in good condition, and itís almost too late now for a new pair. Donít try and use new shoes for running the marathon. You should have broken them in with at least one long run.


3. Eat your big pasta meal two days before the race:
Donít try and carboí (over)load the night before the race. You could end up with an upset stomach the next morning. Instead have a fairly modest meal Ė sure enjoy a pasta dish, just donít overdo it. In fact I recommend not doing anything too much out of the normal for the whole week before the race.

4. Relax the day before:
Try taking things real easy. Donít spend hours on your feet at the pre-race expo Ė youíll feel it the next day. A hot bath with Epsom salts can be really relaxing and beneficial.

5. Pace yourself correctly:
This is probably the most important factor that determines your performance.


Take into account the weather, the course terrain and how you feel. I firmly believe itís better to start out a little slower than your goal pace. Adjust your pace depending on how you feel, if youíre struggling at the halfway point youíd better pull back.

6. If the weather is bad Ė adjust your finish time:
Bad weather is one of the main things that can really impact your run. Itís better to accept this fact and aim for a slightly slower time rather than run out of energy and hit the wall at mile 20. Who knows, you might have a great run in spite of the weather, in which case you can pick up the pace in the latter stages of the race.

7. Be careful with power gels and energy replacement products:
Donít take energy gels or even Gatorade if you havenít done so during training. Your stomach can become upset very easily as you get into the later miles. Hopefully you will have experimented with different energy drinks and so forth during your training runs. I have found a simple slice or two of orange around mile 21 has helped me a lot.

8. Mentally divide the race into sections:
26.2 miles is a very long way! I always divide the race up into different segments. 10K, 10 miles, halfway, and 20 miles. Then as your reach one goal you aim for the next. This gives you something to focus on besides the finish line.

9. Try walking:
Brief walking breaks periodically will give your legs a change from the constant running stride. This will help the muscles avoid tightening up too much in the later stages. You wonít add a whole lot to your finish time either!

10. Walk around after the marathon:
You probably wonít feel like doing this but it will help you gradually cool down. As a result youíll recover faster in the days following the race.


Have a great race!

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"Loved it. Pumped me up about my upcoming first marathon and made me feel at ease about different questions and concerns..." - reader review



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