5 Tips to Get You to Race Day for the Marathon

The LA Marathon is only one month away! For all of those who are participating (myself included), it means that the bulk of your training is done and you are nearing the first finish line – getting to race day. 

Everyone’s training looks very different. Some of you may have successfully completed all of your training runs and are right on schedule. Some of you will be cramming to get those long runs in before the actual race. Some of you will only run up to 15 miles before the marathon. For some of you, this will be your PR race.

Regardless of how much training you have or have not done, here are some tips as you prepare for race day:

  1. Check your shoes – Throughout your training you will have logged a lot of miles in your running shoes. It is recommended that you change your shoes every 300-500 miles, and if you had miles on your shoes before you even started training, you may need new ones. With one month to go, now is a good time to break in any new shoes you want to use for race day. 
  2. Respect the taper – The marathon is not like a test that you can cram for. Trying to get more miles in before the actual race may burn you out instead of make you stronger. Put in the hard work in these next 2 weeks so that you will have the 2 weeks before the race to recharge.
  3. When you train is important – All races are held really early in the morning, but a lot of us don’t typically wake up that early or run that early. If you typically train in the afternoon, it is even more important to do a few runs in the morning in these upcoming weeks. Your body feels different throughout the day and you want to know what it’s like to run in the morning. A few things you may want to consider is how much to eat/drink beforehand, or what kind of dinner you’ll be having the night before. A bonus is that there is no traffic in LA in the mornings.
  4. Train with your mid-run fuel – Whether you will use running gels, goos, gummies, or actual food, you will want to know when to take them and what works best for your stomach. Make sure you try them out beforehand so you don’t have any surprise stomach issues on marathon day.
  5. Prioritize your recovery strategies – Hopefully by now you have a sense of what your body needs to recover from your long runs. If not, now is a good time to figure that out. Proper hydration, nutrition, and sleep are key for ensuring that your body can rebuild itself after your runs. Natural foods and a balanced diet are a good place to start and 7-8 hours of sleep will do the body wonders. Of course, if you have any lingering musculoskeletal issues, a physical therapist can help you figure out what to do about it. The last thing you want is for any aches and pains to prevent you from reaching the starting line.

Your body is an amazing machine that will get you through the marathon, but it needs time and preparation to perform optimally. As race day approaches, make sure that you take the time to respect your body and fuel it correctly so you are ready to go on March 20th. See you there!

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