Top Ten Important Things To Do On Marathon Day Morning
By Rick Morris
Halleluiah! You finished your marathon training, performed a perfect marathon taper and arrived at marathon race day healthy, fit and at full strength. Now there’s nothing that can stand in your way between you and a new marathon PR. Not so fast! There are still quite a number of things that can go wrong. Don’t forget any critical items, rituals or routines that you need before the start of the race. Here is our IT list, the top ten important things on your marathon day checklist.
Let’s be truthful. Blisters and chafing, while painful, aren’t going to kill you. But they can make your marathon quite unpleasant. If you tend to suffer from blisters or chafing, take some proactive action and lube it with a skin lubricant before you head to the starting line.
Those wonderful rays of the sun provide us with all of our energy, a lot of warmth and some critical vitamin D. But, they can also cause skin problems and zap your energy level. So block it by slopping on some sunscreen before you head out. Speaking of head, if it’s really sunny, cover your noggin with a hat or bandana.
One of the worst feelings in marathon running is getting all the way to the staging area only to be turned away because you forgot your race number and/or your shoe tag. Tag it to avoid this major marathon stress. Triple check to be sure you have your race number and shoe tag before you head to the staging area. This should be on top of your marathon day checklist.
Marathon race morning is the time to prepare yourself mentally. Focus it to hit the marathon starting line at full mental strength. Concentrate on staying mentally and spiritually strong and begin to visualize your upcoming strategy and subsequent success.
Don’t procrastinate on race morning. Time it right and avoid any pre race stress. You never know when you will run into parking, transportation or crowd delays. So allow some extra time. It will be better to get to the staging area early for some prerace warm up and preparation, rather than needing to sprint to the starting line.
Don’t forget to fuel up before your start your marathon. Eat it to top off your fuel tank so you minimize your risks of becoming carbohydrate depleted and hitting the dreaded marathon wall. Be sure to eat foods you are accustom to. Don’t risk GI problems caused by unfamiliar foods.
You also want to start your race in a fully hydrated condition. Consume a cup or two of sports drink before the start of your race. The sport drink will hydrate you as well as adding in some additional carbohydrate stores.
Yep, I know, you already knew you had to wear something. But, conditions can change during your marathon. Check the weather report for race morning. If the early morning conditions are going to be cold with higher temperature later or if the forecast calls for early rain, wear some sort of disposable gear you can wear early and toss to the side later. Don’t worry. The discarded clothing will be collected and donated so you won’t be harming the environment.
You’ve got plans to make on marathon morning. You need to plan how you are going to get to the starting line, your race strategy, where to meet family or friends and how to get home. Have a plan in mind before your start. Your mind may not be a full strength after 26.2 miles of running. This marathon day checklist item will make a big difference in your enjoyment of race day.
When you step up to the starting line take just a few moments to give thanks for your ability to run, your physical fitness, the health of your body, your mental strength and your spiritual connections. Remember those that aren’t as fortunate as you are. This will put the task in front of you in perspective and will get you into the proper mental and spiritual place.