With the autumn marathon season in full swing, we wanted to share with you some top tips for heading into your race weekend. We asked competitive runner and BeetBoost ambassador, Jonathan Levitt, who holds a 3:27 PR and will be aiming for a 3:07 at the Philadelphia Marathon, to share is “must do” activities.
Out of the gate, Jonathan recommends knowing your body beyond day-to-day experimentation. He pays attention to what he eats and how he trains, and he uses testing from InsideTracker for a customized take on his unique needs. This shapes his plan for nutrition, sleep, and training.
Even if you haven’t gotten all of your endurance related markers optimized (hello ferritin!) or tested with InsideTracker during a peak week or in the taper to measure the efficacy and volume of your training and nutrition, the following are a few tips that can make all the difference come race day.
Top 10 (with a bonus!) Pre-Marathon Tips
1. When packing for your race, put your fuel in your shoes (and then pack them!) so you can’t possibly forget it. You don’t want to get there and realize you need to search for what you’ve been training with for the last 12+ weeks.
2. Lay out your entire race day kit as you pack. Shoes, socks, shorts, top (or not!), sunglasses, hat, your favorite gels and electrolytes… Everything! If you lay it all out, you’ll realize what you might have missed (and then take a photo and post it on Instagram, of course).
3. Bring a portable foam roller. Why? It helps with massaging out those tight tension spots before the race starts and work out the kicks after the race so you recover faster.
4. Don’t use all of your free time after arriving in the race city to see all the sights. Save your legs for the race, and check out the area post race as a way to get in a little active recovery.
5. If you’re changing time zones for a race (particularly going east) try to start shifting when you go to bed / wake up 5-7 days before you travel 30/60/90 minutes per day instead of 3 hours all at once. Doing this can help manage cortisol/stress levels!
6. Test out your pre race dinner and breakfast on your last long run one more time, preferably starting that run when you expect to start on race day.
7. When in Rome don’t do as the Romans do, so to speak, when it comes to food – save the local cuisine sampling until after race day. That means don’t eat anything new before your race! That spicy, exotic dish might sound delicious, but you don’t want to take any chances and risk the last 3-4 months of training.
8. Get in and out of the expo. You don’t need to (and shouldn’t) sample every cool looking product out there, especially so close to the big day.
9. Bring Body Glide even if it’s not raining. Hot spots abound especially when you’re running 26.2 miles. You know what your hot spots and risk areas for chaffing so treat them before you head out.
10. Stay hydrated in the days leading up to the race! Carry a water bottle around wherever you go. Oh, and add some BeetBoost to your water to optimize your endurance and recovery before during and after the race.
You’ve done the work to prep for the big day. A little prep will go along way to rewarding your effort.
Oh, and the bonus tip? Don’t forget to take a victory lap when you’ve finished the race…you deserve it!
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