2 days before Brighton Marathon 2011 – Top tips for the Brighton Marathon:

Well it’s a couple of days before Brighton Marathon day. Therefore I thought I’d write a few words of encouragement and outlining my preparations for the race.

The mantra to keep in mind is to do everything the same on race day you’ve done in training – to not give yourself any surprises! Here are a few general tips, mixed in with a few found on the internet.

  • Prepare all your kit the night before – shorts, running vest, trainers, gels (4/5 1 per hour) or shot blocks i.e wahtever you have been using in training, watch and heart rate monitor (make sure fully charged), belt with drink (if you a re wearing one).  All of this should be standard as you will have  perpared like this for your long runs in training.
  • Eat the same breakfast and evening meal the night before as you have eaten through training. Do not overeat the night before or in the morning, as you don’t want indigestion on the day. Eat your big pasta meal two days before the race: Don’t try and carbo’ (over)load the night before the race. You could end up with an upset stomach the next morning. Instead have a fairly modest meal – sure enjoy a pasta dish, just don’t overdo it. In fact I recommend not doing anything too much out of the normal for the whole week before the race. Similarly, be sensible with your hydration. It’s looking like it’s gonna be a hot day so drink regularly but not too often. The Brighton marathon news just sent this email relating to the weather:
  • Remember your suntan cream. Best to put it on before the race along with strategically placed vaseline.
  • Check your shoes: They should be in good condition, and it’s almost too late now for a new pair. Don’t try and use new shoes for running the marathon. You should have broken them in with at least one long run.
  • Relax the day before: Try taking things real 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.
  • Pace yourself correctly: Take into account the weather, the course terrain and how you feel. I firmly believe it’s better to start out a little slower than your goal pace. Adjust your pace depending on how you feel, if you’re struggling at the halfway point you’d better pull back.
  • Be careful with power gels and energy replacement products: Don’t take energy gels or even Gatorade if you haven’t done so during training. Your stomach can become upset very easily as you get into the later miles.
  • Mentally divide the race into sections: 26.2 miles is a very long way! I always 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.
  • 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!
  • Walk around after the marathon: You probably won’t feel like doing this but it will help you gradually cool down. As a result you’ll recover faster in the days following the race.

That’s about it…… apart from to wish all the participants a great race.  And hopefully to see those of you not taking part in the crowd.

Happy running Rob

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