It’s time for another Austin-area sports medicine 101 class!
You’ve trained, trained and trained some more in preparation for your big race day. But there’s still a lot to be done properly on the day of your marathon or half marathon. We’ve put together a four-part series with expert advice on the ins and outs of race day preparation. Read on for part one!
- Don’t do anything new. Race day is not the time for new shoes, new food or drinks, new clothing, or anything else you haven’t done on several training runs. Stick with a routine that works for you.
- Eat first thing. Too many marathoners skip breakfast on race day, opting for just a cup of coffee and/or some sports drink. You need more than that. If you don’t have a simple, high-carb breakfast, you’re going to be in trouble before you reach the finish line (and maybe even the halfway mark). Bananas, bagels, or energy bars are good picks.
- Don’t overdress. Marathons often start in the cool of early morning, and it’s easy to overestimate the amount of clothing you’ll need. As a rule of thumb, it will probably feel 10 or more degrees warmer once you get going, and temps will rise as the day goes on. If you wear too much clothing, you’re carrying extra weight, and will sweat more than you want, possibly increasing your body temperature and risk of dehydration
- Prevent chafing. During a marathon, every moving body part that can chafe will chafe. Little is more irritating and painful than skin rubbed raw. To prevent this, make sure your shoes, socks, and clothing have no raised seams that will rub against the skin. Also, use Vaseline, BodyGlide, or something similar in key locations, including your armpits, nipples and inner thighs.