One-week marathon countdown

7 October 2015 by
First published: 23 April 2015

After months of early mornings, long runs and sore muscles, you’re on your one-week marathon countdown. It’s an exciting and nerve-racking time, but with good prep you’ll be on track for a successful race.

One week before

The week before your marathon is the perfect time to double check all the details and make sure everything is sorted for the big day. Take time to check over your kit – the last thing you want is to find that you’ve got no clean socks or that your tights have an unfortunately positioned hole! So start the week by pulling out all the kit you’ll need, lay it out and make sure you’ve got everything. Safety pins? Body Glide? ‘Chuck-away’ clothes for before the race? Something warm to wear afterwards? However organised you are there’ll be something you’ve forgotten, and it’s better to know in plenty of time.

The best way to avoid any nasty race-day surprises is to make sure you read your race pack thoroughly. Put together by the organisers, the pack is essential reading: it tells you everything from where to pick up your bib and how to get to the start to how many loos there’ll be and where supporters can cheer you on. So put your feet up, grab a cuppa and soak up all the details that’ll make race day run smoothly.

After months of training the last thing you want is not to make it to the race! The week before the race is the perfect time to check out your transport options, check for road closures and make sure there really is a 6am train (and that it’s not cancelled due to engineering works!). If you’re driving, it’s also a good idea to plan your parking well in advance. You don’t want to miss the start of the race because you cant find a parking spot.

Big crowds are all part of the marathon experience, but they also mean you can risk missing your own supporters. Get together with your friends and family (how about a pre-race

pasta party?) and work out where they’ll be cheering from on the big day. That way, you can anticipate when you’ll see them. Nothing beats some friendly faces, a high five and a hug during the biggest race of your life. A great sign is a bonus!

The night before

The moment you’ve been anticipating is nearly here and we’re betting your belly is full of

butterflies. A few final preparations will calm your nerves and make sure you’re race-ready!

Running 26.2 miles takes some serious energy, so it’s important to make sure you have a good dinner the night before. Aim to eat something carb-heavy, like a big bowl of pasta, and avoid anything that could upset your tummy. And pay attention to your hydration.

You don’t want to spend the morning of your race scrabbling around trying to find the kit you chose so carefully, so take time to lay everything out the night before and double check you’ve got everything you need.

Check the weather report – are there going to be showers? Will it turn out to be unseasonably hot or cold? If you know what the weather’s doing, you’ll be able to make any last-minute changes to your kit with plenty of time.

The night before is also a great time to finalise little details, like where you’re meeting your running buddies (be really specific – nobody wants to go through the stress of not being able to find their friends!), and which restaurant you’ll be hitting for your celebratory dinner.

Finally, try to relax, get a good night’s sleep and for goodness’ sake set an alarm so you’ve got plenty of time to get to the start and smash it!