It’s only a few days until the Berlin Marathon, which means we’re only a few weeks away from the Chicago Marathon...then the Amsterdam Marathon...then Dublin...then New York. Not to mention the other 936 marathons taking place world wide in the next three months.
Marathon season is truly upon us, and with that, hundreds of thousands of runners are all sitting there doing the exact same thing. Absolutely bricking it.
So in a bid to shamelessly capitalise on your panic and mental anguish Commen Athletics have collected some marathon tips to help you in the final few days of your journey to sporting greatness. Enjoy!
You Best Protect Ya Nips
A slight misquote of The Wu, yes, but a damn good point. Get some nipple guards, it’s a hell of a lot better having them and not needing them than the other way around. They're like a fiver, just get them. The return on investment is potentially huge.
42.2km is a long way, and if your nipples are on fire after 10km the next 32.2km are going to be like getting your chest massaged with a cheese-grater, held by Freddie Krueger, and the cheese-grater is on fire, and you're on fire, because you're in hell.
Next thing you know you're biting holes in your shirt for some relief. We can only assume that's what happened to the guy in the stock photo we've used.
Don’t Play With Your Food
You’ll probably see a lot of articles preaching "the best food to eat before a marathon" dotted around the internet, and they can have some great advice in there, but the fact of the matter is your current nutrition has got you this far, so why mess with it now?
Try to resist the urge to throw wave after wave of pasta dishes into your face if it's not something you usually do.
Change things up too much and you risk some pretty interesting “stomach problems”, and that might have a bit of a negative impact on your day big day out. Very rarely does feeling like you’re going to shit yourself have a positive impact to be honest.
It Might Go Really Badly
Okay that sounds dooming, but there’s a good point behind it so stick with it.
There are around 46-billion external factors that could affect your time or your perception of whether the race was successful for your or not (the weather being 45.999-billion of them), so if you finish up (or decide to pull up before the finish line) because of things out of your control, try not to beat yourself up.
This fear of failure and self-induced pressure is a really common cause for not enjoying what should be a cracking experience regardless of whether you feel like you hit your target. Come to terms with the fact that there are things out of your control, accept it and roll with it, come what may.
Your Training Is Done
Unless it’s your weird ritual and you do it before every marathon, try to resist the urge to crush out a speedy 10km or a nice, hilly 20-miler in the days running up to the race. It difficult because you’ve probably been tapering for a week or two already, so you’re bloated, sluggish and probably a bit tetchy, but just say no.
The Hanson Marathon Method suggests a run stays in your legs for around 10 days, so even if you think you feel okay, you really might start to regret it 30km into the marathon. Do a couple of slow and short loosener runs for sure, but just resist the urge to go guns blazing.
Get It Together
Ever turned up at a race without your favourite socks, sunglasses, or even trainers? It’s an oddly common occurrence. The morning will probably be a bit of a blur, so get everything you need nicely lined up the day before, check it, double check it, triple check it, and then do not touch it.
It will take a lot of stress out of the morning and keep you in a good mindset for your morning 26.2-mile victory lap.
Other than that, just relax and enjoy it. You’ve done the hard work and you’re going to be great.
You’re our hero.
So what do you want to do now?