The best pre-race preperation for a marathon is by putting your feet up, writes Deepthi Velkur.
Running a marathon is an endurance game and requires extensive training, focus, and dedication. To be able to tackle one requires you to break it down into a three-fold process. First, make a commitment to enter and give your best to the marathon. Second, dedicate time and effort to the training involved for the grueling challenge ahead and finally enjoy the most worthwhile and gratifying phase of the marathon – the event itself.
As you get closer to race day, it is natural to have some rattling nerves and mounting questions but if you want to calm yourself down and aim to achieve your personal best, it is important to give yourself that special care during the last 24 hours before the marathon.
Follow these simple tips to better prepare yourself on the day before a marathon:
- Hydrate well and eat clean – Fueling your body with good food and ensuring you drink a lot of water a day before the marathon is recommended. Sipping on water through the day and having a sports drink or electrolyte supplement also helps in boosting electrolyte levels in the body. Boost your food intake by eating lean protein like paneer, beans, lentils, nuts, chicken or fish and adding carbohydrate to each meal in the form of vegetables, fruits, pasta, bread or rice. Stick to foods that work well for you and do not try anything new before or on the race day.
- Layout your running clothes and gear – Keep it all handy to avoid a last-minute rush. Some essential items to keep in mind before a marathon or to carry to the race include – race bib, GPS watch or wristwatch, comfortable running outfit, cap, shoes, socks, energy gels, sunscreen and petroleum gels to avoid chafing.
- Keep calm and relax – Stay off your feet as much as possible. Watch a movie for extra motivation or listen to music as this is a good way to ease your mind. You can try doing a 15-20 min run on the treadmill or a short run of 3 to 4kms to loosen up your legs at best.
- Think positive – While you have prepared well for the grueling task of running the marathon, keeping your mind sharp and staying positive is extremely crucial. The mind gives up before your body does so ward off any negativity by surrounding yourself with positive people.
- Map your run- Familiarizing yourself with the course map and the actual course itself a day before the marathon aids in building your race strategy. Set a realistic goal and stick to it. Do check for weather conditions a day before or on the race day as this helps you prepare yourself mentally as well as physically for the race.
- Early rising- Keep an alarm so you’re up early and have ample time for yourself to get ready.
The above steps go a long way in ensuring your race day readiness and calming those nerves. After the marathon, it is important to savor your success, think about what worked and what didn’t and this will help you plan better for your next race.