Okay, you’ve done all the training, you’re tapering down and you’re race-ready for the big day: the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon. If your training has gone well, you’re probably looking forward to a good, solid race. Awesome. But remember you can be in great shape and still have a bad race simply by doing some things wrong on race day itself.. So here are some Do’s and Don’ts for race day .
Do: Know the course. Super important to be familiar with the entire route. If you haven’t been able to run it in practice, at least drive it prior to race day.
Do: Run the first half slower. Old advice, but always true. Doesn’t matter if you are at the back of the pack or elite—it always applies.
Do: Adjust for warmer temperatures. Studies show that ideal marathon weather is 44°. You’ll slow down about five seconds per mile for every two degrees above 60°. So if it’s already 59° at the start, make adjustments!
Do: Take advantage of sports drinks at aid stations. This may even be more important than hydrating in advance.
Do: Pick up the vibe from other runners. Talk, run together, whatever it takes. 26.2 miles is a long way!
Do: Stay positive and enjoy it. Yes, there is discomfort and pain in a marathon. But those things are temporary and the reward far outweighs that and stays with you.
Don’t: Radically change your diet a few days before the race. Stick with what your body is used to. One exception: If you normally do not eat before a long training run, consider a light breakfast several hours before the marathon.
Don’t: Throw in a long run or tough confidence-boosting workout mid-week before the marathon.
Don’t: Try new stuff. That means anything form shoes to stretching to building a backyard project.
Don’t: Spend all day at the expo. Sure running expos are a great place to shop and catch up with old friends. But keep it short—one hour, max!
Don’t: Run fast early. Want to finish strong? Then run fast late, like the last 10K. You’ll be way happier passing people than shuffling through the last miles being passed by droves.
Don’t: Worry, it’s going to be alright. That’s right, even elites get nervous as the big day approaches, so it’s natural. The best strategy is to trust your training.
Upcoming races: Sunday, February 19 at 7:00 a.m. Ascension Seton Austin Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K, downtown Austin. Saturday, February 25 at 9:00 a.m., Get Your Rear in Gear 5K at Camp Mabry. Saturday, March 4 at 8:00 a.m., the Negley 5K at Negley Elementary, Kyle.