11 Tips to Help You Score a Personal Best (Timing) on Race Day
Marathon preparation requires efficacy if you intend to emerge as a champion at the end of the race. Here is how you can make all your training fruitful on the day of the race.
Tip #1: Hydrate
In the first marathon, there are people who fear that drinking water will give them stitches. While this is generally true, it only occurs if one hurriedly gulps down a lot of water. Your performance in the race will be pegged on, among other things, being fit and ensuring that your body doesn't burn out. This can actually be maintained if you keep your body well-hydrated.
Sports drinks are better when used to hydrate since they are additionally packed with energy that you need to keep you going. A good sports drink will give you fluids, carbohydrates, electrolytes, and most importantly, sodium.
Tip #2: Remain Calm
As much as marathon preparation should be thorough and strenuous, you need to rest adequately on the day before the race. Depriving yourself sleep, for instance, may adversely affect your performance on that crucial day. Get adequate sleep, find ways to keep calm and use this checklist 24 hours before race day.
Do not be overly anxious about the marathon, after all it is only a race. Find ways that will help you relax such as yoga and herbal teas.
Tip #3: Watch your Footwear
There are athletes who have lost a race just because they brought the wrong shoes to the tracks. Make sure that you get the gear that you are most comfortable in. Your shoes must be well-fitting and comfortable.
Lace up appropriately too. You won't have to lose precious time stopping to tie laces. Again, the size and thickness of the knots is important. Thus, make sure that your knots are appropriate. It is advisable to use elastic shoe laces.
Tip #4: Train Well
The training sessions and races are essential in helping an athlete shed pre-race jitters that often impede maximal performance. Keep in mind that breaking records is not a mandatory endeavor. Crowd support and camaraderie are a superb motivation that makes even the longest marathon bearable, less painful and fun.
Tip #5: Dress to Win
Whatever you put on for the race will undoubtedly be a factor in determining your overall performance. For instance, a cotton shirt for a marathon is a guaranteed suffocation. Get running gear that you are comfortable in and one that does not cause any irritation whatsoever. Remember to look good; this will give you the confidence and inspiration you require in winning the race.
Tip #6: Taper
After all that extensive training, the last few days leading to the marathon should be used for recovery. Be a sensible taper and remember that a longer race requires a longer taper. Reduce your mileage by 15 to 20% each week till the day of the marathon. However, even as you reduce the mileage, do not cut down on the intensity of training.
Tip #7: Mimic the Route
Do some assignment and try to train on grounds that are similar to the actual course of the marathon. Train your muscles to handle inclining routes, uphill, downhill and even on flat terrains.
Tip #8: Adjust Your Training Time
It will be beneficial if your training is done at roughly the same time as the actual marathon. This will tune your body and biological clock to help them handle the race better.
Tip #9: Breakfast Is Essential
Do not overlook breakfast on the day of the race; it is the most important meal of the day of a marathon. Take a carbohydrate rich breakfast on the day of the race, but ensure that you take it about 2-3 hours before getting on the track.
Tip #10: Be Composed
Your composure is an integral component of winning the marathon. Take some time before the race begins to bring yourself together, review you route and strategy and psych yourself up by thorough self-motivation. Promise yourself that when you cross the finish line, the clock will show a new personal best. Some athletes have developed personal motivation mantras to help them keep focused. It is advisable to have one and call it to mind before and during the marathon.
Tip #11: Enjoy the Race
A marathon can be an exceptional way to relieve daily stress. If you find that running feels better with music, prepare a power playlist that you listen to as you run. Get some friends to cheer you and draw strength from the crowd support and any other entertainment that maybe present.
If you were so confused about what to do before a marathon, now you know some answers to this question. Just believe in your ability and give the race all you've got. You are sure to break your own records and set new best times for the race.