Preparing for a Marathon
I have several friends who are running in the upcoming NY Marathon on 11/5. I sent one of them – who I just found out had hurt himself and won’t be running – the following hints. Having run 8 marathons (including NY), I’m getting my pre-race drill honed pretty well. Of course, these are “my hints” – if you are a runner you should feel free to ignore them and make up your own (or steal what you like.)
- Don’t do anything “out of the ordinary” in the last two weeks.
- Take it easy – any additional running will not increase your fitness. I usually only run one day the week of a marathon.
- Don’t change your diet / don’t try to lose the last few pounds you want to lose.
- Eat “hard carbs” the week before – lots of bread / pasta / ice cream – whatever you want / like.
- Sleep a lot. Tell everyone “hey – I’m running the NY Marathon – that’s why I’m sleeping until 11am on a Tuesday.”
The Week Before (Next Week – Amazing, Isn’t It!)
- Take it easy – little to no running. Just rest – you are ready.
- Sleep a lot.
- Cut back on the booze if you drink (I can’t remember if you drink or not).
- Tell everyone you are running the NY Marathon – that’ll get you psyched up.
- If you feel sick or tired, that’s just hypochondria and is normal. You are fine. I always have “a major injury” three days before the marathon that magically disappears the day before.
- Drive the course on Saturday – it really helps me to drive the course the day before and get it in my mind.
The Day Of
- Go to sleep early the night before – even if you just end up lying in bed thinking about the race.
- Get up early – have whatever “breakfast” you like before a long run.
- Drink plenty of water, but don’t over do it.
- Pee a lot – you’ll be nervous – it’s normal.
- Let yourself be nervous and jittery.
- Dress warm for the start with clothes you don’t care about – just discard them on the course when you don’t need them.
During the Race
- If you are on the bottom of the bridge at the start, don’t run near the sides as everyone will be peeing over them.
- Have an awesome time. You will really get excited and start getting in the groove when you hit Brooklyn.
- Don’t run over the 59th Street Bridge too fast. If you feel great, take it easy. I went over the bridge too fast and paid for it from mile 17 to 20 on 1st Ave.
- The Bronx will be depressing – after the mayhem on 1st Ave, you hit the wall at around 20 and everyone in the Bronx is just staring at you. Just grind through it.
- The hill on 5th Ave feels like it goes on for ever. It’s only two miles. Let your brain go – you are almost finished.
For all of you out there running the NY Marathon, have a blast!