Race day is upon us! Many of you are running the Derby Festival Marathon or the Flying Pig Marathon in the upcoming week, so it's time to start figuring out your plan for race day. Race day can be overwhelming and nerve wracking, so it's best to think about all the little details well in advance.
To start, a small warm up is always good. You don't want to waste any energy or overdo it before a marathon, but with early start times, you should try to walk or run for 5-15 minutes prior to the event so your muscles are prepared for the task ahead of them. A little bit of warming up can minimize your risk of feeling too tight early in the race.
The next, and possibly most important, tip is to pace your early miles very carefully. In most cases, these first miles will decide how you feel in the last miles of the race. Plan to run a conservative pace starting out, or consider tagging along with a pace group. It is so easy to get caught up in the excitement of the race and think it feels so easy, but if you are using more energy than you are used it, it will catch up to you be the end. Remember that more often than not, a slower start will result in a faster finish.
Another critical thing is to stick with your routine. Use shoes and clothes that you have trained in and feel comfortable with. Eat food that you know won't upset your system. This is not the time to try a new type of fuel your friend recommended or wear a new outfit you bought at the Expo. Just go with what works! To make sure your routine doesn't get thrown off, remember to give yourself plenty of time on race day, too. Logistics can be a nightmare with so many people trying to get to the same place, so give yourself extra time to find somewhere to park, locate the restroom, get in your corral, etc. No need to add extra stress at the last minute when you have to sprint to the start line because you didn't leave yourself enough time to park.
You also need to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! A couple of days before the race you should start pushing your fluids, and you should continue this throughout the race and when you are finished. Performance is seriously hampered when you are even a little bit dehydrated.
With all of this in mind, trust in your training and have fun! You already did all the work - you will do GREAT. Please stop in the store and let us know how you do in your race. We would love to see pictures! Good luck!!