2. Check your shoes: They should be in good condition. Don’t try and use new shoes for running the marathon. They need to be broken in first.
3. Don’t try and ‘carbo overload’ the night before the race. You could end up with an upset stomach the next morning. Instead, have a fairly modest meal – enjoy a pasta dish, just don’t overdo it.
4. Relax the day before: Try taking things easy. Don’t spend hours on your feet at the pre-race expo – you’ll feel it the next day. A hot bath with Epsom salts can be really relaxing and beneficial.
5. Pace yourself correctly: This is probably the most important factor that determines your
performance. Take into account the weather, the course terrain and how you feel. It’s better to start out a little slower than your goal pace. Adjust your pace depending on how you feel and if you’re struggling at the halfway point you’d better pull back.
6. If the weather is bad – adjust your finish time: Bad weather can really affect your run. It’s better to accept this and aim for a slightly slower time rather than run out of energy and hit the wall at mile 20. Who knows, you might have a great run in spite of the weather, in which case you can pick up the pace in the latter stages of the race.
7. Be careful with power gels and energy replacement products: Don’t take energy gels or energy drinks if you haven’t done so during training. Your stomach can become upset very easily later on in the race. Hopefully you will have experimented with different energy drinks and so forth during your training runs. A simple slice or two of orange around mile 21 can help a lot.
8. Mentally divide the race into sections: 26.2 miles is a very long way! Divide the race up into different segments: 10K, 10 miles, halfway and 20 miles. Then, as your reach one goal, you aim for the next. This gives you something to focus on besides the finish line.
9. Try walking: Brief walking breaks periodically will give your legs a change from the constant running stride. This will help the muscles avoid tightening up too much in the later stages. You won’t add a whole lot to your finish time either!
10. Walk around after the marathon: You probably won’t feel like doing this, but it will help you
gradually cool down, and as a result, you’ll recover faster in the days
following the race.