I recently received an email from Complete Running titled “10 Mistakes to avoid on marathon race day” and I thought that it was a pretty comprehensive list. After reviewing the list, I realized that I’ve made many of these mistakes in some of my last marathons.
I thought those of you training for a 1/2 marathon, marathon, 30K, or ultra marathon might benefit from my paraphrased version of this list. (Okay, I’ve changed several of the points entirely!)
10 Mistakes to avoid on marathon race day
1. Eating anything for your pre-race breakfast you haven’t eaten previously before a long run.
2. Arriving to the race with less than an hour to spare.
3. Wearing any clothing in the race that you have not run over 13 miles in. (Yup, that means no beautifully coordinated, brand new outfits! Been there, done that, BIG mistake!)
4. Starting without double knotting your shoe laces. (Or, putting a lubricant product on your feet in hopes of not blistering. I actually did this before a marathon without ever having tried it, and my feet were such a mess when I finished that I had to wear slippers to work for a week!)
5. Vowing to run the entire race with your running partner. Trust me, it usually doesn’t work!
6. Eating too little the day before the marathon. Okay people, (and I’m probably talking to ladies here) this is no time to watch your carb intake. Wolf down those bagels and that pasta (careful with the sauce, though) and enjoy every bite! Your body will thank you at mile 22.
7. Sight-seeing the day before your race. Again, I did this in Washington, D.C. the day before the Marine Corp Marathon and I was exhausted the next day.
8. Drinking an electrolite-replenishing drink other than what you drank during your long runs. Find out well in advance of your marathon what they serve on the course and try it out during your long runs. It’s important to know if your system will be able to digest the beverage easily or if it will make you sick.
9. Forgetting to carry GU, Power Bars, or some other form of nurishment with you while you run the marathon. AND do bring at least one extra GU pack, etc. You never know if you’ll need it!
10. Waiting too long to drink during the race. My coach recommends drinking every 2 to 3 miles small amounts of liquid. This is one of those things with which you have to experiment. The point is, have a plan for drinking!
If you have anything to add to the list, I’d love your suggestions! Happy running!