As I head toward another London Marathon, tapering this and carb loading that, I'll be focusing on certain things before and during the race.. I thought I'd share some tips for you just in case you fancy running 26.2 miles one day...
* For the two days before don't eat out - you are risking an upset stomach or worse - cook for yourself.
* Expo - every big marathon has an Expo one or two days before the event. Go to this early as possible just in case you have to re-visit.
* Read the race day instructions! And then - read them again! These notes may not all seem important but it is worth knowing everything.
* Day before event - a TOTAL rest day. Make sure you have everything you need around you - ie food, Expo done etc so you don't have to leave your house.
* Carb Loading - don't over eat!! Eat your normal amount of food - but rich in Low GI Carbohydrates.
* Stick to tried and tested things - ie, clothing and food.
* Check you travel plans! Make sure you leave plenty of time to get to the event, the larger the event - the more people will be travelling to it.
* Friends - ask them where they are going to be watching and give them an idea when you will pass.
* Extra items; Make sure you have everything with you including stuff to change into after race - make sure everything fits into your race bag.
* Number & Tag; its much easier to attach your race number and timing tag before you leave home! (always use 4 safety pins on your number)
* Race items - ie gels, sunglasses, watch etc.. check this all through, is the watch charged? Make sure everything is there and you have enough of it.
* Clothing - seems obvious but make sure your race day kit is clean and in good condition to go!
* Breakfast; eat your usual breakfast, the one you have been used to eating in training - try not to break the habit.. if it worked then, it will work on race day (remember don't eat less than 2 hours before the race.)
* Drink - up to 30 minutes before the race! TRY not to drink sugary liquids before the race unless this works for you.. too much sugar and you could be running for the toilet - not the gun.
* Stretching - not a great idea before the race. Instead go for a light jog or action stretches, like jumps instead.
* Bin liners.. take a bin liner with you - cut a hole in the top - if its cold or raining you can keep warm in this after you drop you race bag off.
* Toilet; don't be afraid or worried about using the toilet more than once or twice before the race - this is very normal and advisable.
* After; If you are meeting your friends after, make sure you give them an exact location on where you will be.. on large races you may have trouble using your mobile.
* Just before the gun; it is quite normal to feel heavy and tired before the start - don't let this bother you - remember your training and everything will be forgotten when you start to move.
* Pens; Make sure you are in the correct timing pen at the start for your finish time - this is important to you as it is other runners.
* Water Stations; If you intend to take water move toward the left of right near the station before you arrive at it.. If you don't intend to take any water - move away from the area - this is where a lot of accidents happen.