The New York City Marathon is only a few days away… which is crazy to think. After months of planning and training, it’s hard to believe that the big day is HERE.
Even though it’s taper (anyone else going crazy?), there are still a few things left to do before marathon day…
1. Make sure you have your fuel figured out.
Don’t wait until Saturday at 3 p.m. to think about what you’re going to have for dinner and to fuel before the race. It’s NYC on a Saturday night. If you are going to a sit-down restaurant, it’s best to make a reservation so you aren’t standing for an hour waiting for a table. Make sure you’ve purchased all of the foods you need for your optimal breakfast… karma has a way of biting you in the butt in NYC so if you wait to buy that natural peanut butter on Saturday, it will likely be sold out in 98% of stores in the city.
Oh, and definitely don’t wait to buy your gels at the expo. I did this in Boston and it was a bad decision… I had to take a gamble and try some new fuel, which worked out… but it was a little stressful.
2. Plan your race day outfit!
Like your fuel, it’s best to plan your race day outfit early. Lay it out on your bed and make sure you have everything that you need… down to the undies. If you are traveling from afar, pack a few different options. The weather may change, which means what you originally planned won’t work as well as you originally thought. Try to avoid running in some clothes that you just purchased.
3. Bring throwaway gear!
You will likely be sitting at the park on Staten Island for a few hours before the race. It is going to be COLD out there. Sure, you can walk and run around, but you don’t want to use up all of your energy before the race. And if you opted to check a bag, you can store some gear in there. You will have to check that bag a bit before the start. It’s best to have a stash of throwaway gear that you can wear and chuck before you get to the start.
Bring more than you think you’ll need… trust me, it will be chilly. (Also don’t forget to bring something to sit or lay on!)
4. Don’t change your eating
Oh a great new restaurant opened in your neighborhood? Don’t. Go. Use it as a post-race treat. Switching up your eating habits now can wreak havoc on the big day. For me, eating a new food that doesn’t react well with my body can take me out for a few days… so not worth it. Stick with the usual suspects to keep your stomach happy.
I know the majority of the experts would say I’m crazy, but this also includes not quitting your bad habits. For me = Mountain Dew. If I don’t drink it for a few days, I get a terrible headache and that’s the last thing I want to suffer through during a marathon. So, I continue to drink it up until the day of the race… extra sugar energy helps anyways, right?!
This is tricky. You’ll read everywhere that you need to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Hydration is important, but just like your eating, you shouldn’t change any of your habits leading up to race day. This includes how much water you drink. If you drink a gallon a day, keep doing that. But, if you only drink a few pints, don’t suddenly triple your consumption because someone told you to. Stick with what works best for you.
6. Catch some Zzzzz’s
One thing I love about taper is that I never feel guilty about taking a nap. My body needs to rest up for the big day so it is a perfect excuse to take several naps during the day. Yes, more than one is perfectly acceptable.
Make sure you are getting a lot of sleep and try to keep your life stress to a minimum. Most people agree that the most important night’s sleep isn’t the night before the marathon — but two night’s before. Make sure you keep this in mind as you plan your weekend events.
7. Keep your schedule tame
Speaking of your weekend events, the organizers of the New York City Marathon have done a phenomenal job of planning a full weekend (and somewhat of a week!) of events for the race. Don’t participate in everything. Seriously, it will wear you out. You need to rest and relax… so be choosy about which events you go to. This week should be as relaxing and restful as possible. Next week you’ll have a void in your life, so you’ll have plenty of time to hang out and do a million and one things.
Any other last-minute tips for New York City Marathon runners?
Who’s running NYC Marathon? What are you looking forward to?
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