Whether it’s five, 10, or 42 kilometres, training for a race is daunting. You have to be disciplined enough to get up early to run before school, university or work, and if that isn’t possible, you have to gather the energy at the end of your day for an evening stint.
Either way, marathon-prep requires dedication, and that’s something you’ve probably become an expert in if you're running in the Adnoc Abu Dhabi Marathon this weekend. So, you’ve done the hard work and the big race is imminent. Now what? Here are some tips for you to consider.
What to do the day before a marathon
You’ve done all the hard training, and once you've sorted out your registration and collected your race packs, you’re pretty much good to go, but there are still a few things to keep in mind:
- Keep calm
- Keep hydrated by sipping on the water or electrolytes you have been using during your training and preparation. It’s also important to eat well throughout the day
- Stretch. If you feel the need to go for a little run the day before, keep it light, don’t push too hard, and don’t do anything longer than five kilometres.
- Familiarise yourself with the route. Bookmark this link for all you need to know
Here is the full marathon route
What to do the night before a marathon
Place all your race-day goodies on your bed, your sofa or a place at home that is visible, so you have it all at hand the next day. The essentials?
- Running shoes and comfortable socks
- Running shirt (the official Emporio Armani race shirt should do the trick) and shorts
- Race bib
- Peak cap
- Race food (Gu, protein bars or even baby potatoes)
Make sure you eat a decent meal. Some prefer to carbo-load, so the trusty spag-bol or big bowl of pasta might be your go-to meal, but others like protein-rich food. Either way, stick to what you know. One thing you shouldn’t do is eat something that you’re not used to. Eat early enough, so that you can hit the hay and get some much needed rest ahead of the big day.
What do to on the morning of a marathon
- Try and eat something, even if it’s a small piece of fruit – bananas are a good choice, oats are fantastic, too.
- Stretch. This is something so many neglect, but it’s important and should not be ignored. It’s pretty crisp in the mornings, so get your muscles warmed up to avoid cramping later on.
- Give yourself enough time to get to the venue. Parking is always pretty tight, and if you are taking a taxi, make sure you book it the night before just to be safe. Also make sure you have allocated enough travel and traffic time to get you there on time. You don’t want to be panicking and rushing to get to the start.
- If music gets you in the zone before and during the race, take a look at our playlist to keep you motivated
- You’re probably going to be quite nervous, but one thing you should do is smile. Keep that smile on your face, even when it hurts. There will be plenty of support along the way, and despite the aches and pains, those strangers who become your cheerleaders will get you that much closer to the finish line, and that all-important medal and sense of achievement.