The hardest part of your half or full marathon training is over, but what you do during the day before your race can make or break your race. Follow these tips to make sure you avoid making mistakes that will cost you valuable time or cause discomfort during your half or full marathon.
1. Eat Plenty of Carbohydrates
As you’ve been doing before your long training runs, you should be eating about 65-70% of your calories from carbs in the days leading up to your race. Don’t stuff yourself at dinner the night before. Carbo-loading does not mean that you should eat three plates of pasta for dinner. As many runners like to say, “Too much ‘loading’ can lead to ‘unloading’ during the race.” Eat amounts of food that you would normally eat.
2. Avoid Any Unusual Foods
Stick with foods that have worked well for you before your long training runs. If you’ve had trouble with runner’s trots during your training runs, follow these recommendations for the best and worst pre-run foods. If you’re planning to eat dinner out, check the restaurant’s menu to make sure they serve foods that you’ve eaten before your long runs.
3. Stay Hydrated
Drink plenty of water throughout the day. If you’re hydrating properly, your urine should be light yellow.You can also have one sports drink, to make sure you’re getting some extra electrolytes. Avoid alcoholic beverages because they have a dehydrating effect, and they’ll interfere with your sleep. Plus, it’s not a good idea to run with a hangover.
4. Don’t Overdo It
Stay off your feet, rest and relax. When you go to the race expo to pick up your race packet, don’t spend hours walking around, attending clinics, and eating free food samples. Spending too much time on your feet will tire you out, and hanging around big crowds at the expo may get you nervous about your race. It’s never a good idea to try new foods in the days before a half or full marathon — and that includes giveaways. When you do need to walk around (when you go to the expo, for instance), make sure you’re wearing running shoes or other very comfortable shoes.
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