Top 5 Useful Tips Prior To Your 1st Marathon

So the marathon is around the corner and you’re a nervous wreck! There are tons of things to do prior to the race and we’re here to help you out!

You’ve prepared for months; training runs, dieting, and exercise. You’re a few days away from your marathon and you have a million things to do. It can be a bit overwhelming and from someone who has run a marathon, this guide will help you out.

#5. Pre-Planning

You may have heard this plenty of times, but it’s important to pre-plan before the race. This will include knowing what sneakers you will wear, attire, and what you will bring with you on race day. In a conversation with SoCal running coach Steve Mackel, I was told that “The day of the marathon is not the time to try anything new.” Stick to what’s been working for you during your training and everything will remain in order.

#4. Set An Exit Location

Nothing is worse than walking after 26.2 miles and depending on your conditioning, it can be brutal. This is why it’s important to have an exiting strategy. If you have loved ones who will meet you at the end of the race, opt for a well-known spot like a Starbucks or local McDonalds. In the case you lose cell phone service, you will need an exact location for people to find you.

Also, if you’re racing the TCS Marathon in NYC, it’s wise to choose the “No Baggage” option. The main reason is it will slow you down and as many runners have explained, “excludes the poncho” which is a desired commodity after finishing the race. Stores like The Running Company and Jack Rabbit Sports in NYC usually accommodate runners with a baggage option.

#3. Carb Loading

A lot of runners make mistakes with this and because everyone’s training regimen is different, it’s hard to suggest what will work for everyone. So a more universal approach for first timers is, do most of your carb loading the night before. I wouldn’t suggest a greasy pizza (where a lot of first timers make mistakes), rather pasta with some grilled chicken. The carbs and protein will provide necessary fuel for your race the next day.

#2. Cutting Costs

The expo will be the most exciting experience besides the marathon itself. It can also be pricey! If you’re looking to cut corners, there are ways to save a bundle on the essentials you need. As a runner you want to put your name on your shirt. It will provide an added dose of inspiration when spectators are cheering your name. Places like T-Gallery in NYC are great if you need a design at the last-minute. They will do on the spot printing at an affordable price. I got my name on my shirt for only $7.

Depending on where you run your marathon, it may be cold that morning. Go to a Salvation Army, Conways, or TJ Maxx and purchase some sweats that you can donate to charity afterwards. The price is really cheap and you will save a lot of money.

#1 Get Rest/Arrive Early

In my opinion, the most important thing prior to your race the next day is being well rested. The day before your marathon, all of your errands should be completed, and it should consist of nothing more than eating, resting, and enjoying the last moments before your race. Some training programs will suggest a shake out run, yoga, or stretching. This is to prepare your muscles for your 26.2 mile journey. Just keep in mind that it shouldn’t be strenuous. Be sure to go to bed early. Depending on your start, I suggest going to bed no later than 10pm.

During my first marathon, I made the mistake of being in the last corral. While it’s a great experience sharing transportation with your fellow runners. It can get a bit congested at times. Also, there are little things that bother me like, long lines at the bathroom stalls, waiting on transportation, and missing out on goodies. If you have a goal and you’re not sight-seeing, then you may want to arrive early. It will give you time to clear your mind, stretch, and get some last-minute nutrition.

In addition, for the NYC marathon, if you have an earlier time, you can always start later. But if you have a later time, you can’t start sooner. So get there early and take advantage of your “Me Time” because HEY…you earned it!

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