Running a marathon is a big deal. Whether it is your first time participating in a marathon or your fiftieth, there is a lot that goes into preparation for the race. If you want to do your best, be careful not to omit any essential steps when preparing to run your marathon.
Plan Your Meals
Plan what you eat the night before, the morning of, and during the day of. Following several guidelines for food intake the day before and day of your race will help you maintain better energy as you run.
The night before your race, eat a familiar and enjoyable meal that is rich in carbohydrates. This could include, for example, pasta, rice, bread, or potatoes. Stocking your body with carbohydrates will help you reduce your risk of fatigue during your race. Just be careful not to eat too close to bedtime; allow yourself time to fully digest before going to sleep.
Eat a carbohydrates-filled breakfast, like porridge, toast, cereal, or bagels, the morning of the big race. Stick to foods you’re used to eating, and reduce your intake of fat and fiber. Be sure to hydrate yourself before and during the race, and fuel yourself with more carbs throughout the run. When you’re finished, celebrate your accomplishment with another carb-loaded meal and some protein.
Get Quality Sleep
It is essential that you get quality sleep before racing. Develop a relaxing bedtime routine in order to prepare your body to go to bed, including a warm shower, gentle stretching, and/or deep breathing exercises. Avoid engaging with screens and set your room to a temperature that is conducive to sleep—ideally, about 65 degrees.
Your mattress plays a large role in making good sleep possible. Invest in a comfortable mattress. If your mattress shows signs of wear—such as sagging, stains, lumps, or creaks—look into replacing it. Frequently, beds have a shorter optimal lifespan than the warranty says. Most mattresses’ optimal lifespan is around seven to ten years.
Before your marathon, make sure you warm up. Get up at least two and a half hours before the start of your race and go for a short “shakeout” run. Jog for about ten minutes—and don’t try to run fast. Go slowly. Then do some light stretching in order to get your body ready for what is to come. This warm up will stimulate your nervous system, get your blood flowing, and calm any nerves you may have.
Once you’ve run your marathon, you will be glad you took the time and planned ahead in order to be properly prepared for the race. Getting the right fuel, the best possible sleep, and an appropriate warm up can be the difference between a difficult and unenjoyable race, and a triumph.
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