I have already written in a previous post about what you should be doing days leading up to your marathon, but this post is not about that. These are 7 things I’d highly recommend you doing leading to your upcoming marathon. This isn’t rocket science or ground-breaking ideas I’m sharing with all of you, but rather some good ol’ common sense. Here we go…
1. Bring a Toilet Paper Roll
This is one of those things I have always done when I go to a large race. I don’t know if it’s from my high school cross country days, but for whatever reason I like to have a roll of TP in my bag just in case the port-a-johns are out or in a dire emergency I need to find a wooded area to do my business.
2. Stay at a Hotel Near the Finish Line
I would especially do this if you’re traveling solo to a marathon. Nothing worse than having a bad race or minor injury on the course and now having to figure out how to get to your hotel 20 miles away. In 2006, I went to Boston by myself and did get the host hotel by the finish line. And even though I did have a great race that day, it was so nice just to be able to walk to my hotel a few blocks away after running 26.2 on the roads.
3. Packing for Your Race if You’re Traveling
As we learned from a previous post by Greg McMillan about trash bags that his training team wasn’t ready for rain when they competed in Hawaii years ago, but he thought on his feet and had his entire group wear trash bags to the starting line to stay dry.
Point here, is pack for every type of weather. Bring rain gear if you’re going to the L.A. Marathon and bring warm clothes when you heading to Arizona for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in January (in 2007, the temperature dropped to 28° F!). It’s just better to be prepared.
Also, bring your running shoes and race shorts and singlet in your carry on bag, if traveling for a race. In the off chance they lose your luggage, at least you have your shoes and clothes you need to race in.
5. Schedule a Massage for Yourself
Nothing like a good massage the week of your marathon. Pamper yourself a bit 3-5 days out. Race week is recovery week and let’s make sure everything on your body feels as good as it’s going to for your long day that weekend.
6. Put Your Bib and Tag On the Night Before
This is probably the coach in me, but in your hotel or at home the night before your race pin on your bib and put on your running tag if it’s not a part of your bib, as well. Why? Just one less thing to think about or forget on race day. As we all know, without a bib number and/or tag you will not have an official result – and that is just crushing.
7. Ice Bath & Walk After
I know you will want to sit down, sleep or eat a huge meal after you’ve completed your marathon, but when you get back to your hotel or home I would highly recommend taking an ice bath and then walking around, if possible. You’ll thank me for this the day after when you’re not as sore as others who have run.
Those are some race week tips for you – good luck this fall to all of you distance runners out there!