It is here. We are officially in countdown mode. Tomorrow is the day you have been waiting for, for months or possibly years. Tomorrow, you will wake up, put on your outfit, and make your way over to the New York City Marathon starting area to begin your journey through the five boroughs of NYC. The city has been invaded with runners, you can feel it in the air. Tomorrow is game day!
But what about today? What do you do with yourself? There are so many options, opportunities, it is hard to choose from and you just want to do it all. Like we have expressed in past posts while this is a personal choice for each and every runner, there are a number of things we would recommend the day before a marathon. Whether you are running tomorrow or your race is in two weeks or 8, this still applies.
What to do the day before a marathon
1) Rest – Your going to take yourself on a 26.2 mile stroll tomorrow. Today, we advise putting your feet up. Relaxing. Just stay put. There is no need to go anywhere (unless of course you need to get your bib), plant yourself on the couch. You have been training for months now it is time to rest up for tomorrow. If you run a shakeout run, run your shakeout run but no more than that. After that run, let yourself rest.
2) Motivate – One of our favorite activities before a big race is to get ourselves “PUMPED UP.” Even better, this is completely possible from the sactinity of your couch that you are happily resting on. So sit back and relax and pop in one of your favorite motivational running movies. Spirit of the Marathon and Hood to Coast are two of the best marathon pump up movies. However, it does not necessarily need to be about a marathon to be motivating Miracle, Rudy, Rocky are all great choices as well. Other ways to get motivated is by listening to music, reading support letters, cards, tweets, Facebook messages that you received from friends and family in support of your race, or reading a book.
3) Prepare for tomorrow – The earlier you prepare for tomorrow’s race the longer you can rest and relax. Do what you need to do early and put your mind at ease. Lay out your clothes, pack your breakfast, make sure you have all items necessary and ready to go tomorrow before the big day. Then double, triple check it and relax. Yes you may double check that you have everything numerous more times before tomorrow (totally normal) but hopefully this will put your mind at ease. Additionally,creating a list of everything you need and checking it off will help you remain more secure in the fact that you are prepped and ready to go.
4) Make a playlist – Maybe you have this all set, but some of us like to leave playlists to the day before the marathon. Sure we all have tons of playlists but it is always fun and exciting to create a new one for race day. Pick out some new songs, spend time thinking about when you want songs to appear on your playlist and arrange accordingly. This is a great activity that you can once again participate in while safely on the couch.
5) Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate – We can’t say this enough. Keep that water bottle at your side all day long. Make sure that you go in tomorrow fully hydrated, which means start early and drink often. Your water bottle is your friend.
6) Fuel Properly – You knew this one was coming next right? Do the best you can (sometimes it is hard on race day) to fuel your body the best you can today. Get it ready for race day. Not the day to try something new. Instead go with things that agree with your stomach and keep you energized.
7) Have fun – The day before the marathon may be filled with butterflies in your stomach, but it is also complete with excitement. Talk to your friends whether through social media, by phone, or have them visit and push those worries out of your mind. It is marathon weekend. It is a time to be happy!
8) Relax – This is a hard one. It is difficult to relax the day before a marathon. There is so much excitement, but also nerves are running high. Try using the above skills to relax and take your mind off of all the “what ifs.” Trust your training and your ability to run. You can stress all you want but that will not change the fact that tomorrow is the big day. So take a slow relaxing breath and just try to go with the flow.
9) Turn in Early – Tonight is not the night for partying. There will be plenty of chances to celebrate once you have crossed the finish line. For now, we recommend having a low key night at home.
10) Set multiple alarms – This is more to reduce stress than anything. Likely you will be awake hours before you need to be – that is our adrenaline working, do not worry it will carry you through the day. However, just to make sure, go ahead and set the alarm and then set another one, and especially for our NYCM runners tomorrow, remember to fall back and change your clocks. An extra hour of sleep is always nice especially on marathon day.
So with that, Happy Day Before Marathon Day! Tell us what do you like to do the day before your marathon.