April has arrived and the Boston Marathon will be here in the blink of an eye. For many, this means gearing up, lacing up, and mentally boosting up for one of the biggest race days of the year. The hardest part of training is coming to a close and the ultimate test is approaching: RACE DAY. There are marathon tips all over the web on what to DO and DON’T.
Here are some helpful marathon tips to follow for the big day.
–DO lay out your gear the night before and be sure your running outfit is one you’ve already completed a long run comfortably in. This includes any chafe-free products, nutrition, and hydration tools. You’ll be grateful by mile 20, I assure you.
–DO take a moment the night before or the morning of (or both!) to visualize all the positive attributes of the race ahead. Imagine the corral at the start, the cheers of the sidelines, the push of power down the final straightaway to the finish.
–DO stick to your marathon plan. You know best how you’ve trained, what to expect, and how to get there.
–DO enjoy yourself and smile like a lunatic or laugh with other runners in the start corral. This is an opportunity of a lifetime for so many. Embrace it. If you want to connect with others, do so. If you want to hold onto the excitement internally, do so. The way you choose to enjoy yourself is your prerogative.
–DO relax, settle into your body, and appreciate all it has done for you up to this point. Walk or run lightly the day before. Have the glass of beer or chug the gallon of water. Do the yoga or settle into the meditation. It boils down to doing what feels relaxing to you.
–DON’T plan on wearing a brand new tee from the expo. (As always, there are exceptions to any rule. There may be a brand that you are so certain works well for you. By all means then, do your thing and run in it.)
–DON’T entertain last-minute doubts or uncertainties. The “hay is in the barn,” as they say. Ignore the haters, including those haters in your own mind.
–DON’T get caught up in the expectations of others. Have confidence in your race day plan. This includes your nutrition choices, hydrating along the course, any gear and outfit decisions, pacing, and any other decisions you’ve made for race day.
–DON’T allow any Negative Nancies to get into your headspace or forget to have fun. Too often, negativity can seep in and sabotage a marathon experience because of our personal expectations, reactions to external circumstances (like weather), or the opinions of others.
–DON’T worry about how others choose to relax or settle pre-race. Simply focus on you and what simply works for you. As Biggie Smalls put it so eloquently, “It’s all good, baby.”
Soak up the experience and enjoy every moment that’s to come. You’ve earned it. Good luck!