It’s time for another Austin Sports Medicine 101 class! Are you prepared for the big race day? Last time, we started our discussion on tips for getting you there. Read on for more suggestions on how to make the most of the event!
5. Wear sunscreen. Marathoners sometimes don’t think about the fact that they’re in the sun long enough to get sunburned. This is particularly true if you finish in four or five hours, which takes you into the high-sun time of the day, or if you run the Boston Marathon, which starts at noon on a course with little shade.
6. Arrive early for the race. Arriving early is beneficial for two reasons: a) it helps race officials as they have ample time to ensure you are properly registered and b) gives you sufficient time to warm up. Arrive about one hour early. This will ensure you have a good starting position and the best place in the parking lot, so you don’t have to walk miles after the race when you are feeling tired.
7. Pin your race number on your shorts. That way you can fiddle all you want with your upper-body apparel. If the temperature rises, you can peel off the long-sleeve shirt that kept you warm for the first three miles. If the wind kicks up, reach for the shirt that’s wrapped around your waist.
8. Go for the jolt. Twenty years ago, researchers thought that caffeine helped runners burn more fat, thereby sparing precious glycogen. That theory has been mostly disproved, but caffeine does make the marathon feel easier. Feel free to drink your normal amount of coffee before the race.