Only few days before the marathon! The excitement is really building. We have some last-minute tips for you before the big day.
You should have decided upon the shoes and socks and clothes you will wear for the marathon. The clothes should be comfortable and will wick away moisture away from you. Take the time to get your clothes all set the night before the race. On the morning of the race, you will be excited, and you won’t need the stress of having to look for your race clothes.
The idea of not trying anything new also pertains to food and drink. This is not the time to try any new foods or race fluids. Stick to what you know despite what anyone tells you. You don’t want to risk something new not sitting well with you during the race.
If you have not taken the time yet to check the race course, take some time to do it before the big day. This will give you an idea of how you need to pace yourself during the race. You want to know where the hills will be, and you want to know milestones, so you can tell how you are doing.
The decision about running the last few days before the race is a personal decision. If it makes you uncomfortable not to run, then do a light workout. You don’t want to stress yourself out over running or not running. Just don’t push yourself. If you can, it is better to not run.
As I have mentioned before, one of the problems you can encounter during the race is that you could develop blisters. Hopefully because of your training, this will not be a problem. If it happens near the beginning of the race, be prepared to do a bit or first aid. If you don’t, your stride can be thrown off and that will affect your race.
People running a marathon can also develop what is called “black toenail”. This happens when your toe moves around in your shoe and is constantly jammed and rubbed by your shoe. This constant friction causes a blister or blood pooling under your toe nail. Most times, people do not notice during the race. It is afterwards that the discoloration is noticed, or the pain starts. If you find you are in pain, head out to your friendly local podiatrist who can look at the toe and may be able to relieve the pressure that has built up under the nail. As much as I would like to sugar coat this, I have to tell you that you will lose the nail. On the bright side, you will have a beautiful new nail in 3-5 months!
If you are not careful with your fluid intake during the race, you may find that you can develop a muscle cramp. Gently stretch and massage the muscle and drink a sports drink to replenish the water and salt in your body. You can develop cramps in odd places during the race. Make sure you relax your shoulders and try and maintain good posture.
Also, if you are running and develop a sudden sharp pain in your leg or ankle, it is time to stop. A sudden sharp pain can be an indicator of a stress fracture or sprain. Do not keep running. You may do more damage. I know it is hard when you have put in so much work but there will be a next time. Stop and get medical help.
We wish you the best of luck!