Marathon season is now in full flow with Brighton taking place last weekend and London just a few days away now. If you are running a marathon for the first time these 5 top tips will give you an idea of what NOT to do.
1 - Carbo load the night before
The mistake which lots of runners make is to carbo load the night before the race. In order to give your body a chance to digest and then store the carbohydrates you should 'go big' two nights before. Otherwise you are running the risk of starting the race with a full stomach of pasta!
2 - Have something different for breakfast
Sticking on the theme of food, do not gamble by eating something different for breakfast. Stick with what you normally eat before a training run, rather than following what someone else says you should eat beforehand.
3 - Wear new running clothes
I have made this mistake before! Got some really cool new shorts especially for a marathon, but hadn't actually tried running in them before the event. By the time I'd put my phone and a couple of gels in the pockets i found that when I started to run my shorts started to fall down! Not ideal. Marathons are hard enough without having to keep pulling your shorts up or deal with chaffing, another issue which could also occur when wearing brand new gear. Stick to what you have tried and testing during training.
4 - Arrive at the start minutes before the race begins
The chances are that before the race you will be feeling nervous! The few marathons that I have experienced have had VERY longs queues for the toilets in the half hour before the race started. Don’t make the mistake of leaving your trip to the loo until the last minute. You do not want to waiting in line as you hear the start gun go off. So, plan ahead so you’re fully warmed up and get your toilet trip out of the way an hour before the race is due to start!
5 - Stick to your race plan
This may sound odd to you, and we're not saying not to have a finishing time in mind and a pace that you aim to follow. However you may need to adjust this pace depending on the weather or the course. For example if you're running a marathon with lots of tight areas you might fall behind your planned pace due to being stuck in or behind a pack of slower runners. Don't be tempted to put in a prolonged burst of pace to try and catch up on mile time. If you need a hand working out your running pace per mile try using a pace calculator before your race day.
If you would like some more information about what you should eat when training for an endurance race like a marathon check out this blog.