Many runners ponder over what they should be doing before a race to optimize their performance during a Marathon. One thing is for sure, prepping for a marathon requires weeks of training, good sleep and discipline which simply cannot be achieved in a day or two! Nevertheless, there are still some important basic things runners must do before a marathon that can help them perform better.
There are a host of reasons for warm-ups to be an essential prerequisite to any athletic activity. More than anything, it drastically reduced the chances of an injury from occurring! An ideal warm-up before a marathon should be a combination of a quick run and a full-body stretch. Go for a run about 30 minutes before a marathon. Start slow and increase your speed in the last two minutes. This starts your blood pumping resulting in an increased heart rate and oxygen flow throughout your body. It’s best to stay in motion by taking a walk to the time building up to the marathon.
Remember to warm up just a few minutes before a marathon. Warming much earlier means that you’ll have to constantly stay in motion and continue warming up longer or if you stop then you’re most likely to lose some of the benefits of the warm-up. If possible, alter your warm-up session to the distance you will be covering during the marathon.
A marathon run requires a lot of energy to keep you up and about through the course of the run. A runner must consume an ample amount of carbohydrates and liquids to maintain the blood glucose level and thereby sustain energy and reduce the chances of dehydration. Shorter marathons unlike longer ones, require an initial boost of energy that doesn’t need to be refueled again during the run. This is why it is best to carefully consume nutrients that benefit your performance during the race. Carbohydrate-rich foods are a great choice as they digest faster as opposed to protein and fats. It also helps when runners sip on water throughout the day of the marathon to stay hydrated.
For marathons that last for an hour or less, sipping on water or electrolytes helps sustain energy. For marathons that are a little longer, it is best to consume a carbohydrate-rich snack 2 hours prior. During the run, the carbs break into glucose through the process of digestion and provide energy at a much later stage. For marathons that exceed 2 hours, it is compulsory to refuel with a small amount of carbohydrates every 45 minutes.