First Marathon, The Night Before: How to Prepare for a Marathon

First Marathon, The Night Before: How to Prepare for a Marathon


A first marathon is a big undertaking. There are months of training, all of the long runs and hours spent pounding the pavement. Now the time has arrived. It is the week of the race. Here are some last-minute things to help prepare and to have the most successful and fun race possible.

Things to Do the Week Before the Marathon

  • Rest is the first thing to do. It will be hard after all of the hours of training put in. Try to relax and take a few walks, but do not try to get in any last minute long runs. It is time to save up energy and carb stores for the big race.
  • Eat well this week. Be sure to have a good mix of protein, carbs and fats. It is important to build up the store of glycogen in the body for race day. Carbs provide the body with glycogen. The muscles will use up its stores of glycogen in as little as 60 minutes, so it is important to be sure you have a full store available for race day.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Proper hydration is very important to a successful run. Drink water and sports drinks the week before the race. At least 64 ounces a day is recommended.

Things to Remember the Night Before the Marathon

  • Set the alarm. Most races start at the crack of dawn so be sure you are up in plenty of time to get ready for the race.
  • Have a good dinner with plenty of carbs. Often races will offer carbo load dinners as a part of the pre-race festivities. Attending one of these dinners can be fun and an opportunity to connect with other runners.
  • Set out race day clothes and supplies. It is wise to get two outfits ready for the race. One for cold weather and one for warm weather. Socks, tights, shorts, shirt and bra (if needed). Pin the race number to the shirt and attach the timing chip to the shoes.

Race Day – What to Bring

  • Water/Sports drinks. Be sure to carry plenty of water or spots drinks on the race. A water belt with 4 ten ounce bottles is recommended. Do not rely on water stops towards the end of the race; they may have run out. During a race your body will use up fluids quickly, it is important to replace them. Sports drinks will also replace used carbs and electrolytes.
  • Food and Gels. Be sure to bring something to eat. Gels contain mainly sugars and maltodextrins, and come in convenient small packages that are easy to carry on the long runs. You may need up to four of them on a full marathon.
  • Comfort is important. Use an anti-chaffing rub and lip balm, wear a hat and sunglasses, use sun screen and be sure shoes are tied properly. It is important to be as comfortable as possible during the marathon.

We hope you liked this article and How to Prepare for a Marathon the night before it.

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