Tips For the Day Before a Marathon

Tips for Getting Ready For Marathon

a woman running a marathonIt’s the day before the marathon. You have spent the last few months training for tomorrow. What you do on this today, may determine the outcome of the race. It is important to make sure you are prepared, you are relaxed, and well-rested. Stick to your routine, go for a short run, and go home and read a book or watch a movie. This is your last day to prepare your body, so make sure you treat it right.

The day before the race is one of the most important days in your preparation. Here are a few tips on what to do on the day before your marathon:

  • Hydrate
    • Hydration is one of the most important things you can do. This can make or break your race. Make sure to drink plenty of water the days leading up to the race.
    • Some signs you are hydrated are:
      • Urine: The color of your urine should be mainly clear.
      • Sweat: If you are hydrated, you should sweat consistently.
      • The skin test: If you pinch or apply pressure to the surface of your skin, the color of your skin should return to normal in less than two seconds.
  • Eat the right food
    • The days leading up to the race, it is important that you eat properly. While you want to eat carbohydrates, you do not want to eat anything unusual. I would recommend a pasta with a plain sauce, like butter or olive oil. Don’t go for the hamburger, it will come back to haunt you.
  • Get plenty of rest
    • The day before you are going to run a marathon it is important to relax and rest up. Try to stay off your feet so you are not putting extra stress on your muscles and bones.
  • Go for a short run
    • If you usually go for a run in the morning when you wake up, do it. If you have been seriously training for a marathon, your body is used to your routine. A short run will not make you tired. In fact, it may even help you the day of a race. Running will help calm your nerves, improve blood flow, and loosen up your muscles and soft tissues.
  • Get prepared
    • Make sure that you are prepared for the race the night before. The last thing you want to do is create stress for yourself the morning of the race. Some things you might want to take care of are:
      • Have a light and healthy breakfast prepared
      • Check the weather and plan your outfit accordingly
      • Plan your trip to the race
  • Don’t stress
    • Stressing will only take any energy you have out of you. It is important to get a good night of sleep the nights leading up to the race.

Most importantly, remember that you have been training for this day for months. As long as you give it your best shot, you can’t go home unhappy. Go out there, run and have fun!

The Curious Case of Larry Macon

One of the biggest problems I have with modern athletics and sporting events is that people are always out there to be the best. First of all, let’s not confuse this with trying your hardest. The difference is that you can try your hardest – at anything, not even just sports – without being the best. Trying your hardest to achieve the best that you personally can is different than just being better than everyone else. For a long time, I’ve always looked at sports as something that shouldn’t be treated as a profession, let alone one that pays the kind of money it does (but that’s another story). We all start out at the same place, throwing a football in the backyard or taking the field on an abandoned sandlot. And it’s a game. It’s just for fun. It’s just to have a good time. But, modern, professional sports have taken it several levels beyond that. With professional athletes making hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions, of dollars a year just for playing a game and some of those athletes making even more off of endorsement deals that don’t even have a direct influence on the sport, it seems as an outsider looking in that a lot of people get caught up in the hype and fame of a select few, setting new and seemingly impossible standards for themselves as athletes, simply dooming themselves to fail if they don’t achieve that high standard.

Sometimes, however, it only takes one good, heartfelt story to remind me that there are still those out there who do something simply for the sake of having a passion to do it. Not necessarily to be the best, not even necessarily to be really good. But, they do it just because they like to do it.

Cue Mr. Larry Macon, former lawyer and self-transformed runner for life. The man started running just to cover a lie he had told to some of his lawyer buddies. And not just any old running – he was running a marathon. This was a 50-something year old man who had never come even close to running 26.2 miles in one stretch any day in his life, taking up marathon running on a whim just so he wouldn’t be shown up by his coworkers (that peer pressure’s coming back).

Roughly 20 years later, at age 72, Macon has recently completed his 2,000th race. When I’m 72, I still hope to be standing on my own two feet, let alone crossing any sort of finish line. But the best part about this feel-good inspirational story is that Mr. Macon doesn’t do it for the money or the fame (I’ll admit I’ve never heard of the man before reading the article), but just because loves to run. He also says it gives him new perspective on life. With running being as inclusive as it is, he meets people from all walks of life and gets to see the world in all sorts of new ways that he wouldn’t have thought to see as an “old, white lawyer” as he dubs himself. He says he doesn’t mind entering a race, taking in the scenery as he runs and stops worrying about personal statistics. The man has no problem taking over 7 hours to finish a marathon (he completed his 2,000th race in 7 hours, 16 minutes and 31 seconds). The secret to his success?

“If you drag your body out on the racetrack, you’re pretty good.”

So the next time you get caught up in personal ability or even how you compare to others around you, remember 72-year old Larry Macon when you feel you can’t be fit or do something athletic. You may just end up surprising yourself in a similar way.

How Long Do You Have To Train In Order To Run A Marathon?

Training for a marathon is certainly hard work, but it is well worth the effort. If you have your sights on a specific race, you are going to need to start training well enough ahead of time. So just how much training is required? It is more than just about how soon you begin training, but let’s start there.

First, experts recommend that you give yourself at minimum 12 weeks to prepare for a marathon. Naturally, the training time can depend on the individual, and you need to be dedicated to the process. While 12 weeks is the minimum, closer to 20 weeks might be best. Remember, it’s also not just about how long you train but ‘how you train.’ No matter what, that 26.2 miles is a monumental task, and you want to rise to the occasion and complete this personal challenge.

While 12 to 20 weeks was given as the training time, that is just for the actual marathon. People often have themselves running about 30 miles weekly before they even step up to the plate and start training so to speak. Additionally, as you are ramping up to running a marathon, another thing you can do is start with smaller races. You might groan at the thought, wanting to tackle the giant instead, but running those distances is going to be part of your training anyway.

Soon, you will be running that marathon. First, you have to train. If you are currently out of long distance running, give yourself an entire year. Ramp up for half the year towards running 30 miles a week. Then, you will be ready to start a marathon training program. Don’t bite off more than you can chew all at once. You will get there, and while you do want to push and train hard, do so responsibly.

Should You Eat A Big Dinner The Night Before A Marathon?

This is a question everyone asks when they start long-distance running competitions, and it’s a question everyone must answer for themselves. There is no simple single answer scenario that will solve everyone’s problems the same way. All of our bodies work differently, and no two people are alike. What one person eats and digests might affect that person’s body in completely different ways than another person, and so a little experimentation might be in order. That said, what should you generally eat before a marathon?

First of all, if you decide to eat a big dinner the night before a marathon, make sure you know and like what you’re eating. This is not the time to try something new. If you do, then this is when a new allergy will develop or a serious bout of gastrointestinal distress will strike with a cold vengeance the likes of which you’ve never known. Don’t take the chance.

The key to a good race is often keeping your digestive processes consistent and constant. In other words, it’s often better to eat a lot of little foods more often than it is to eat three or four bigger meals the day before. That way your body can get used to digesting important nutrients and calories over a period of time instead of at a single moment’s notice. Don’t consume any red meat–that takes forever to digest and you’ll pay the price later. Fish or chicken are good choices, as are small portions of fruit and veggies or energy bars.

Although some athletes load up on carbs the night before, this tactic isn’t right for everyone. Pasta and other grainy foods tend to make their way through your digestive tract slowly, and depending on the person they can lead to gas and bloating for a long while the day after you eat them. If you know your body can handle the carbs, then go for it. If you don’t know, then you should. Until you do, avoid them like the plague.

Cut down on the fatty foods, dairy products if they give you trouble, and avoid roughage (potatoes and rice and fiber, etc.). You don’t want to be midway through a race and start to feel a bowel movement coming on. Remember: exercise helps your digestion, and you’ll be getting a lot of exercises all at once. Your intestines won’t need any more help than they already have.

A few hours before the marathon, try to eat a small breakfast. Don’t eat too much. Eating too much food too soon before the beginning of the race can lead to cramps, gas, bloating and other stomach injuries. Don’t hydrate all in one go, either. Drink water at regular intervals the day before and the day of, and when the race starts don’t wait until you’re thirsty or hungry to replenish what you’ve lost. If you’re running a marathon or more, then start adding calories before mile five or so and you should be good to keep going at a proper pace for much more. Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to get through the race without hurting yourself. Good luck!

What Is The Difference Between Cross-Trainer and Running Sneakers?

When you exercise, it’s extremely important to choose the right kind of footwear for the activities you’re doing at the time, especially if you engage in those activities on a routine basis. If you don’t wear the right pair of shoes, then you could hurt your feet and make it more difficult or impossible to exercise in the future. Save yourself medical expenses in the future by investing in the right footwear now. So what is the difference between cross-trainers and running sneakers? It basically depends on the kind of motion for the activity.

You’ll want to wear running sneakers if, you guessed it, you run. If you walk, you might think you’d be better off with ordinary sneakers, but you’re still better served by a good pair of running shoes. These generally take a lot longer to come apart even though they’re taking a lot more of a beating, and they’re manufactured with a variety of types of feet in mind.

Cross-trainers, on the other hand, are created for use alongside a number of other activities that involve some sort of side-to-side movement. Use them when you’re involved in other strenuous activities like lifting weights, boxing, yoga, stretching, etc. You’ll be alright in cross-trainers or if you take on basketball or another sport. If you’re on the pavement, though, then make sure you’ve got a good pair of running shoes to wear instead. If you do too much running in cross-trainers, you can still incur a number of serious injuries not only to your feet but also to your neck and back. In other words, if you’re really hardcore about the sports you’re playing–and you play them often–you’ll want running shoes.

Running shoes are a little bit on the lighter side. Even though the difference between the types of shoes in weight isn’t very big, it will still have a huge impact on the potential consequences for your body once you use them for a while. Cross-trainers are heavier in order to support side-to-side movements in those gym-related activities.

If you’re not sure that you’ve got your eyes on the right pair of shoes, then there are a couple differences in the way they look that you might be able to spot. Cross-trainers have wider soles than running shoes, while running shoes have smoother tread because they don’t require as much traction with forward movement.

Although it might not seem like the differences matter very much, they just might. It depends on how much exercise you do, and what kind. If you’re not sure that you’ve got the right pair of shoes for you, then ask for the advice of other people involved in the same activities, or find a customer service rep at the store where you shop for your footwear.

How To Make A Killer Running Playlist

There is no tried and true method of creating the best running playlist possible. A lot of it depends on the person. What kind of music do you like? How rigid or loose are you? Where are you running? If you’re taking a stroll outside in the Antarctic tundra during a blizzard, then you might be in the mood for something a little bit different than if you’re jogging in Death Valley during a season high. To each his own, but here are the best bits of advice we’ve accumulated over the years.

First of all, don’t go without. Exercise is a great way to augment your mood (among other more fun activities that need not be discussed here), and a great way to complement the benefits of exercise happens through music. Because you’re less focused on the exercise itself, the stress of that exercise is reduced as your attention is split.

The science is sort of iffy when it comes to whether or not you should choose music that synchronizes beats per minute with your running pace. If this sounds like something you think might help you, then first calculate your running pace by counting steps per minute. Do it on more than one occasion to ensure accuracy. Whatever number you get, that’s equivalent to the beats per minute of the songs you’ll want to add to your playlist. If this approach doesn’t get your mojo flowing, then that’s no problem. We still recommend you stay away from “Thousand” which holds the record for highest beats per minute, or any songs that you can only hear once every five seconds because they’re so slow. Be smart about what you choose.

You might opt to stay away from heavy metal. It might energize you, but it’s not exactly inspirational. Find something that puts you in a good mood, and stay away from sad songs that leave you feeling down in the dumps.

Like all playlists, it should tell a story–an exercise story. How do you run? Do you start slow and work yourself up to a decent pace? Do you sprint until you’re half-dead? Do you engage in a cool-down period toward the end of your workout? Take these questions into consideration when deciding what’s best for you. If you start slow, then the first songs you hear should be on the slow side too. If you end with a sprint, then the fastest songs should be at the end of the list. This is also a good way to plan exactly how long you want your runs to last. You do not want to be in a slip and fall accident in NY.

At the end of the day, a big part of your running playlist needs to be based off of what you like to listen to the most, even if it’s a little too slow or a little too fast for someone else. Maybe you prefer the absurdity of System Of A Down or the Celine Dion love song in Titanic or a grandiose boss battle theme in your favorite video game. Whatever floats your boat, that’s what you should do. What works for us might not work for you. What’s important is that you try new things until you do find what works, and then carry on running at a comfortable pace!

Bad Marathon Advice: Why You Should Ignore Everyone You Know

Our friends and relatives all have one magical thing in common. They’re fountains of perpetual knowledge, and they know better than common sense or a quick Internet search could ever prove otherwise. If you’re a health nut (and we mean that in the nicest way possible since we are too), then you probably share some of your exercise regimens or healthy habits with the people you know. That’s okay. But it probably means they’ve told you what they think you should do instead. These are the worst pieces of marathon advice you’ve probably already heard, will probably hear again, and why they’re all terribly wrong.

Some idiot probably thinks you’re a prince or princess and that you need to look your best for that race you’re about to run–so naturally the idiot either provided an upgraded outfit or told you where you can find one that looks oh-so-good. Ignore this mysterious individual. Your fifteenth mile into a race isn’t the ideal time to realize that your crotch seam is slowly turning into the Grand Canyon during a flash flood event. Do what you normally do, whether it’s the clothes you wear or the food you eat. Change nothing.

Taking that one step further, don’t think for a second that this is a good time to upgrade your running shoes. Anyone who’s worth their salt on the track knows that a decent worn-in pair (we’re not talking duct-taped soles with no shoe laces) is better than a brand new pair. Then again, most toddlers know that. Why don’t your friends know that? Blisters hurt. Avoid them.

For some reason there are some very special people out there who like to “bank miles” during a marathon, i.e. start fast because you’ll tire later. It’s a freaking marathon, NOT a sprint. It’s one of the most used proverbs out there, and just maybe there’s a reason it exists in the first place. Most people who know what they’re doing start slow and gradually increase to their expected pace long-term. The best among us start at the same pace they finish with, but that’s no easy feat.

If you’re a beer drinker, then by all means enjoy a frosty tall boy at the end of the race–but don’t overdo it. There is research out there that suggests beer reduces the inflammation that arises from prolonged runs, but it uses non-alcoholic beer. If someone tells you that beer is going to make you feel better after the race, then that person probably just wants to laugh at you while you vomit in a grimy restroom.

One oft-mentioned tidbit of bad advice involves when you should start to eat or drink. Our bodies lose energy at a staggering rate during a marathon run, and if you wait until you’re hungry or thirsty to replenish the nutrients and electrolytes you need to finish the race, then your body won’t absorb them in time to do any good. Start refueling about a quarter of the way into the race and you should do fine.

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Tips For Starting Marathon Training

One question many people ask when they think about running a marathon is, “where do I start?” That is a very complicated question. Everyone starts somewhere different in their marathon journey, so it is important to be honest with yourself to see where your needs lie in the preparation for your big day. Here are a few tips that we think can help you greatly with starting marathon training and prevent you from needing to hire a personal injury law firm after the race.

1) Start Small

Starting small is a very important concept when it comes to training for a marathon. People often get a grandiose idea of running a marathon for the first time, but they are not ready to put in months of hard work to do it. Starting small is absolutely essential, as it can help you compartmentalize all of the things you need to do to get ready. By not biting off more than you can chew in the beginning, you set yourself up for success when you need to start doing something more challenging.

2) Have Fun

The most important thing about this is that you need to have fun while you’re doing it. If you’re not having fun while you’re training, why even bother? Training for a marathon can be a very scary thing, so putting in some fun exercises and drills can make the entire process much easier on you. In addition, it is a well-known concept that when you’re having fun, time seems to go by quicker. If you sprinkle in some fun activities, your workouts will feel shorter, which will help you continue to grow as a runner!

I hope that these tips will help you get started with your dream marathon training regimen. If you have any questions about where to start, please let us know, we would love to talk about getting you ready for the big day!

When it comes to training for a marathon, please don’t take Barney Stinson’s advice!

Things To Avoid When Running A Marathon

There are a variety of things that you need to avoid when you decide to train for and run in a marathon. These things can vary all the way from how healthy you stay in your run, to how tired you get, to preventing horrible catastrophes like wrongful death.

1) Eating Too Much Beforehand

It is very important that you eat something before your marathon, as we have touched upon in an earlier article. While this is true, it is important to do so in moderation. If you eat too much food, you might not only be slowed down, but you can put yourself in serious physical harm. Foods with high amounts of sodium, or with a lot of spice, can make you sweat a lot and cause you to lose valuable nutrients in your body. Even “healthy” snacks like protein bars can fill you up too much and give your body the wrong kind of energy.

2) Having a Running Partner

It is important to have a running partner when you are training, but when it comes to the real thing, you need to do it by yourself. Having a runner partner is good in theory, but in practice it means that both runners are always doing something to accomodate the other runner. For example, if one is naturally faster, the slower runner might tear a muscle trying to keep up. It is important to know your limits as a runner, but having a partner can throw that completely out of whack. You will be surrounded by other runners, so you should never have a lack of motivation when you are in a marathon.

I hope that this article illuminated some of the things you should avoid while running a marathon. At the end of the day, you need to trust your body and do what you feel is right. Don’t take this as gospel.

For more information, please check out the following video:

Three Foods You Should Never Eat Before A Run

Let us first salute you for getting out and doing your body good. Whether rain or sun, you have been trying to run a=on a daily basis to burn off those calories from the times you have indulged. You are trying to eat healthier, but did you know some of the foods you are eating for your health are the worst for your exercise routine. Below are three of the worst foods you can eat before an invigorating run.

Leafy Greens

There is no question about the health benefits of leafy greens. In fact, they are on just about every list for healthy eating. However, raw greens like kale and spinach tend to cause serious discomfort to runners. This is due to the high fiber content contained in these vegetables. If you are looking to run but would prefer not to have the gas and bloating that will come from these vegetables, you may want to consider a green smoothie. You will get similar health benefits minus the discomfort and embarrassment.

Spicy Foods

Unless you happen to have a stone stomach, you more than likely experience some heartburn after a spicy meal. While there is nothing wrong with indulging in a feast, these types of foods take an extra long digestion time, which you will want to plan for your run. Because there is nothing worse than heartburn during a run!

Protein Bars

How many people do you see at the trail grabbing a cool water and protein bar before they start off on their run? More than likely a good number and that is due to the marketing that has made protein bars into a healthy food. These bars typically contain more sugar than protein and are simply going to cancel out your run.