Countdown to race day tips

Whilst it may be one of the most famous, the London Marathon isn't the only marathon - and there are many more approaching, so I thought this simple breakdown might be useful. Written by personal trainer Matt Roberts and found on www.healthandfitnessonline.co.uk

Countdown to Race Day

4 weeks to go…
• Ensure your trainers are worn in and your kit has been tested on a long run – blisters and chafing could bring your marathon to a painful end
• Finalise your nutrition and hydration strategy – make sure you can tolerate any gels or sports drinks you intend to use on race day
• Try to cut out alcohol for the last month. Your body will function better if your liver doesn’t have to process alcohol

2 weeks to go….
• Start reducing your volume of training to ensure you’re rested and refreshed for race day. Eat a balanced diet and drink lots of water – at least two litres a day and more when you’re training

1 week to go….
• Use some positive visualisation and imagine yourself finishing the race. As training volume decreases, you may start feeling a little sluggish – this is normal, don’t worry!

One day to go…..
• Lay out your race kit, plan your route to the start of the race, and get an early night. Carry a water bottle all day and take regular sips
• Have a healthy carbohydrate-based meal at least two hours before bed – make sure it’s something you’ve tried. Don’t worry if you can’t sleep, just relax, be confident in your training and focus on how you’ll feel when you cross that finish line…

Race Day morning…
• Eat a tried and tested breakfast at least two hours prior to the start. Take sips of water or sports drink right up until the race starts. If you know you can stomach it, try eating half a banana or energy bar 30 minutes before the start so your energy stocks are full!
• Drink little and often throughout the race and don’t forget your gels if you’ve been practising with them

For more information visit www.healthandfitnessonline.co.uk/2010/02/matt-roberts-top-marathon-tips