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    Race Day Preparation for your Next Half Marathon or Marathon: Top 21 Things You Need

    Race Day Preparation for your Next Half Marathon or Marathon: Top 21 Things You Need to Know Before Your Next Race!

    A marathon or half marathon is a great event in anyone?s life. You can help make your race day and minimize race day jitters by preparation the next before. Here is a list of twenty one things that will prepare you for this special day!

    1. The Expo is great fun. If you have the option it is best to hit the expo a few days before if you want to try the new bars, drinks, products, etc. It is best not to try new things the day or evening before. The equipment you buy should not be for the next day?s race but in the future. Load up on freebies, fun and motivation. Talk to speakers but try to minimize your standing. It is also more fun to go with a buddy or find a new buddy and hit the expo. You will find many interesting people at the expo. Don?t be afraid to talk to people and find out their interest and motivation for the race. Some friendships last for a lifetime.


    2. Food is another important thing to think about for marathon preparation. Some runners suggest you cut out raw vegetables the day before, avoid salty oriental good and get plenty of healthy simple carbohydrates the day before. If you stay at a hotel be sure to bring your own food. It is important to know what your body can handle for a long distance. Runners that I have talked to like oatmeal, Gatorade, string cheese, a piece of toast, peanut butter and jelly and hard boiled eggs. If you tested the food by eating an hour or two before your long runs you should be all set.


    3. Expert marathoners differ on times getting to the race. If you stay close by check to see how many are registered for the race. One race I was a part of all I had to do was walk across the street after a last minute potty break and I was all set. The recent marathon that I participated in required that I was in the chute 45 minutes before the event and I arrived two hours before the race.


    Supplies are essential for the race. Some supplies that are necessary for the race include:

    Racing shoes (Have been tested on a long run and have been worn for at least three weeks.)
    Race Socks (Two pairs that have been washed and used in long races before.)
    Race Singlet or appropriate Race Outfits
    Safety pins to put on your race number or on your bag with your number.
    Don?t wear 100% cotton shirts, pants, or shorts but a dry weave wicking, or Coolmax clothing.
    Racing Bib
    Racing Pants or Shorts
    Goo
    Gloves
    Beans
    Fig Bars
    Granola Bars
    Or your favorite foods tested on a long run.
    Sunscreen
    Body Glide
    Your analgesic of choice
    Fuel Belt with Gatorade and Water (The last two marathons I have run in Chicago have run out of both!)
    Safety Pins
    Race Watch/GPS
    Heart Rate Monitor
    Rain Gear
    Sweat and head bands
    Sunglasses
    Towel
    Change of Clothes
    Sandals or Crocs for after the race
    Bandana, knit cap or racing hat
    Tape
    Bandages
    Breathe right strips
    Orthotics
    Cell Phone
    Small container with ice to use for an injuries after the race.
    Map of the course (Especially if the marathon is small or the race is called and you still want to finish.) Some race officials and websites offer you a virtual path of the course.
    Bus and Train schedule ( This is essential if you need an alternate way home from a race. Recently I ran a race in which my ride left without me. Backup plans are a must.)
    Charity or Tent Band (If you have a specific place to go after the marathon)
    Running Chip
    Vaseline
    Nip Guards
    Throw Away Clothes
    Large garbage bag for rain cover
    Gloves
    Race Straw
    Plastic Bag for Wet Clothes
    Chap Stick
    Heart Monitor
    Put your Name on your Singlet or Bib, when you hear the crowd yelling your Name you will feel the Energy
    Sunglasses

    Toilet Paper and Kleenex
    Instant Antibacterial Soap
    Place to store your keys like a necklace, key clip

    5. Medical information on your shoe or on a necklace with important numbers to call in an emergency, your blood type, medical conditions, etc.
    6. Some marathons are impossible to find a bathroom and you have to be creative when Mother Nature calls. A buddy system is great to use for a quick look out behind bushes, alleys, etc.
    7. Hand wipes and Instant Hand Sanitizer. 80% of Germs are spread mostly by the hands.
    8. Put on your racing number and chip on the night before.
    9. Put all of your clothing and supplies in one place the night is before so that you can jump into your outfit and do a quick check of all your supplies. A list works well. Also, plan for a thirty degree change. There is nothing wrong with having two or three good outfits for a change in the weather. This is essential for a fall or spring marathon.
    10. Bring an outfit you can throw away at the start if you are standing in the cold for a long time. A thrift store is a great place to pick up your outfit and after you get rid of it goes back to sell to someone else.

    11. Prepare the night before. Put on your number get your supplies together that you sued before. Do not skip medicines.

    12. Get to bed two days early before the race. It is important that you get a good night?s sleep.

    13. Keep track of the weather. It is easy to see what the weather will be like daily by clicking on the website and seeing the current and race day conditions.

    14. Wake up early and wake up slowly. Have two alarms set.

    15. If the race is close try to do a short warm up and if the race requires you to walk you have already done a warm-up.

    16. Stay relaxed. Stay positive and don?t stress about details. Visualize your success and mentally prepare for walls and mental roadblocks during the race.


    17. Smile a lot. A good attitude helps you during a long run or race and encourages others around you. You will get more smiles than you give.

    18. Have a plan for those watching you during the race. Make sure that they have a map, a sign and know what outfit or outfits you may be wearing. Ask them what they will be wearing and keep an eye out for them. ( Recently I wore a yellow bandana at a race and was really easy to spot.)

    19. Make sure you well hydrated during the final week.
    20. Have an alternative for getting home. Emergencies happen and it is rare but at times runners can get stuck at an event. It is nice to know the train route or have an alternative buddy to take you home.

    21. Pray. Pray for the race, the runners, the volunteers and the medical teams that will be treating the injured and critically ill. No matter what is the outcome of the race is thankful for the opportunity to compete and what a gift it is to run!


    Dangy, Scott Runner?s World Complete Book of Women?s Running, Rodale, NY, 2000
    Marathon Checklist
    http://www.prairienet.org/running/Ma...nChecklist.htm
    Marathon Checklist
    http://www.anaerobic.net/resources1.html
    Marathon Preparation
    http://www.clevelandclinic.org/healt...asp?index=8930
    Running for Dummies, IDG Books World Wide, Inc, Foster City, CA, 1999

    Robbins, Wendy and Vilines, Alyce The every woman?s guide to Marathoning, Pentagon Publishing Park Ride, IL 2006
    Chris Chapan
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  2. #2
    Registered User cchapan's Avatar
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    Fun Fun Fun

    This is a fun article.
    Chris Chapan
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  3. #3
    Registered User irngirl's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Good Read but Clarifying a few things:

    RULE #1 = WEAR NOTHING NEW ON RACE DAY! This will minimize undesirable chaffing.

    Ditch those safety pins and get a race belt. Your expensive technical wear will thank you.

    GU, Accel Gels or other gels are a TOTAL necessity. You'll need those instant carbs. Be sure you train with whatever will be offered on the race course.

    Beans = "Sport Beans" which are an electrolyte replacement you can also use other products such as "Chomps" by GU or "Clif Blocks" by Clif. These are sold in speciality running stores and most Sporting goods stores.

    Don't forget a baggie to put the cell phone in if you plan on carrying it in the race. Sweat will KILL a phone.

    Throw away clothes = Clothes you will put on "over" your race clothes to keep you warm prior to the start. The race begins, you warm-up and "throw away" your outer layers.This includes hat, gloves as well as shirts and pants. Races usually donate them. Many races will require you to be at the start hours before the gun goes off so it will be early and chilly. Plan for all types of weather.

    Pay close attention to #17---enjoy the race, take it all in especially if it's your first marathon.

    With #19 if you're running a summer marathon or it is unseasonably hot, salt your food in the 2 days leading up to race day. You can also purchase salt tabs but be sure to train with them prior to racing.

    RULE #2 = HAVE FUN!

    Pick up a copy of "The Marathon Method" by Tom Holland.
    "You can quit and no one will care, but you'll ALWAYS know."
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  4. #4
    Registered User irngirl's Avatar
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    This is a Good Read... just Clarifying a few things:

    RULE #1 = WEAR NOTHING NEW ON RACE DAY! This will minimize undesirable chaffing.

    Ditch those safety pins and purchase a race belt. You can pick one up at a running store or online. Your expensive technical wear will thank you.

    GU, Accel Gels or other gels are a TOTAL necessity. You'll need those instant carbs. Be sure you train with whatever will be offered on the race course.

    Beans = "Sport Beans" which are an electrolyte replacement you can also use other products such as "Chomps" by GU or "Clif Blocks" by Clif. These are sold in speciality running stores and most Sporting goods stores.

    Don't forget a baggie to put the cell phone in if you plan on carrying it in the race. Sweat will KILL a phone.

    Throw away clothes = Clothes you will put on "over" your race clothes to keep you warm prior to the start. The race begins, you warm-up and "throw away" your outer layers.This includes hat, gloves as well as shirts and pants. Races usually donate them. Many races will require you to be at the start hours before the gun goes off so it will be early and chilly. Plan for all types of weather.

    Pay close attention to #17---enjoy the race, take it all in especially if it's your first marathon.

    With #19 if you're running a summer marathon or it is unseasonably hot, salt your food in the 2 days leading up to race day. You can also purchase salt tabs but be sure to train with them prior to racing.

    RULE #2 = HAVE FUN!

    Pick up a copy of "The Marathon Method" by Tom Holland.[/QUOTE]
    "You can quit and no one will care, but you'll ALWAYS know."
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  5. #5
    Registered User TrueIce's Avatar
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    Very very interesting.. There are a lot of factors that can help your race..
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  6. #6
    Registered User jordanmac's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips! I am trying to get into running a little more and did now realized there was so much that went into this.
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  7. #7
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    Originally Posted by jordanmac View Post
    Thanks for the tips! I am trying to get into running a little more and did now realized there was so much that went into this.
    I think some people way overdo it. I did my first marathon a little over a year ago, and I didn't bring anywhere near this much stuff. I had family there to take my coat at the start of the race, and hand me Gels. (I didn't take them but I should have. I cramped up really bad at mile 22) I wore a cotton shirt and was fine. I was told to put bandages on my nipples to prevent chafing which I did. They fell off, but I didn't have a problem. I can get really bad leg chafing so I shaved that area and put lotion on before the race. Same for armpits. Also I'm thinking about doing a marathon barefoot, or if VFF.

    In summary, shaved all areas that rub together, and applied lotion. I wore a cotton T-shirt, running shorts, sunglasses, cotton socks, and running shoes. I needed more electrolytes via gel, but everything else was fine.
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    Registered User sharkmeat's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by hokie525 View Post
    I think some people way overdo it. I did my first marathon a little over a year ago, and I didn't bring anywhere near this much stuff. I had family there to take my coat at the start of the race, and hand me Gels. (I didn't take them but I should have. I cramped up really bad at mile 22) I wore a cotton shirt and was fine. I was told to put bandages on my nipples to prevent chafing which I did. They fell off, but I didn't have a problem. I can get really bad leg chafing so I shaved that area and put lotion on before the race. Same for armpits. Also I'm thinking about doing a marathon barefoot, or if VFF.

    In summary, shaved all areas that rub together, and applied lotion. I wore a cotton T-shirt, running shorts, sunglasses, cotton socks, and running shoes. I needed more electrolytes via gel, but everything else was fine.
    To me the gels are disgusting ! make me want to barf - ive tried 3-4 different flavors, and when that warm chocolate pudding contacts your mouth when you are at mile 10+ it makes my stomach hurt. The things ive found that work best are the endurance cubes or gummy bear type electrolyte things - they re-energize you and help with crampiing and dont taste like warm chocolate pudding.

    But everyone else seems great for someone who needs to be super prepared - im all for its more mental than physical - and some of those things are a little over the top - but maybe its because i m young and my body has had no issues doing long runs - better to be over prepared than under prepared for sure !
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  9. #9
    I ain't no bitch lowstrife's Avatar
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    +rep, some very good advice. A dumbass friend of mine who ran a half marathon did... none of this.

    Sending him this thread now.
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    Originally Posted by jordanmac View Post
    Thanks for the tips! I am trying to get into running a little more and did now realized there was so much that went into this.
    Its all B.S.

    Just wake up...drink a coffee...eat a bagel...put on sneakers , shorts and shirt..arrive at race early and sip water while you wait for the race to start.

    Water, Gatorade, gu packs, cookies, fruit...all around at stations while you run.
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    Registered User sneakerfresh9's Avatar
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    good advice if i try to run ill try
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    Marathon+Pulled Hamsting+Big Wind=Hell

    For 15 weeks I trained for a marathon by running 550 miles and lifting 5 days a week and 7 days before I did this XTREME crossfit workout and pulled my hamstring (Grade 1). I iced my leg every day before and on race day still planned on running the full. I thought I packed some extra Aleve, Ibuprofen, Glutamine in my mini pouch to carry and pop the pills half way through, but I must have had two different baggies and when I went to grab it before the race all I found was powder and assumed the pills bursted. After the race, I went into my bag and found the pouch I set the night before. Mile 13 the strong wind took my hamstring out. First 13.1 miles I ran 1:50 with a Grade 1 pulled hamstring, but the final 13.1 was pure torture thanks to the 30mph winds taking out my legs and finished with a 4:25, but I had a pulled hamstring. After the race there was a chiropractor and a doctor doing free evaluations and both said something like "There is no way that someone with your hamstring injury could have finished it with that time, you should not have ran a full marathon." I told them: Yeah, I knew that I just didn't want to stop.
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    Blossom Blossom123's Avatar
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    very nice
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    Smile What a great article!

    Originally Posted by Blossom123 View Post
    very nice
    I remember my first half marathon. Wish I would've done my research. Here's another article that is very helpful! Happy Running!!

    forkstofeet.blogspot.com/2013/03/finishing-your-first-half-marathon.html
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