Top 10 Tips Before Marathon Go-Time!

After running 7 marathons I feel like I’m finally in a position to offer some advice!  So here are my Top 10 Tips Before Marathon Go Time:

  1. Delete some of your garmin history (go to History-Running-Delete on the 305) so that you don’t get the message “Memory Full” (or something to that effect) during the marathon and freak out.  Been there, done that.
  2. Lay EVERYTHING out the day before the race.  Not the night before, the DAY before, so that you can go to the store and buy something if you are missing it.  Race day outfit, shoes, gels, water bottle, etc.
  3. Plan on wearing a throw away outfit over your race clothes on race morning – shirt, sweats, garbage bag, whatever – so that you can keep warm before the race and then toss it when you are in the corral.  This is the time to get rid of the ugly too-big race shirts that you’ve collected from previous races!
  4. Know where your friends/family/supporters will be on the marathon course and what they will be wearing so that you can spot them.  It helps IMMENSELY to know where they will be so that you have something to look forward to and get you through the miles, especially the later miles.
  5. Have your mantra in mind.  Something simple and powerful and meaningful to you.  Maybe even write it on the back of your hand. Be prepared to say it to power yourself through the tough spots.  I wear a dog-tag like necklace that says “Make Today Count“.  I reach up and feel  it many times during the marathon and it really helps me focus!
  6. Be prepared for the weather, but don’t obsess over the weather.  You can’t control or change it, so no use checking it 7000 times and worrying about it.  Just check it the day before hand, plan accordingly (adjust your pace strategy for heat; wear a garbage bag to keep dry before the start if it’s raining, etc.)
  7. A few days before race day, review your training log and look at all the miles, cross training, hills, intervals, long runs, races, etc. that you’ve done.  You are ready!  Be proud and confident that you are trained and can do it!
  8. Plan something low key and stress free the day before the marathon.  The expo is always fun and motivating, but I think it’s better to do the expo two days before the marathon if you have the option, so that you don’t wear yourself out walking around (and spending money!)
  9. Have a time goal and a non-time goal in mind.  I like to do this so that even if I don’t make my time goal, I have a chance at still being “successful” if I’ve met my non-time goal.  (i.e. pass 10 people in the last mile; high-five cute kids, etc.)
  10. Relax.  Smile.  Have fun.  The marathon is the icing on the cake.  Enjoy it!

Anyone else have good ones?

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