Marathon Day Checklist

In General

* Drink four to six ounces of water every hour.
* Mentally rehearse the marathon: feeling good, overcoming challenges, recovering.
* Eat small carbohydrate snacks constantly.
* Relax with friends or family.

The Night Before

* Drink four to six ounces of water every hour.
* Eat light carbohydrate snacks like energy bars.
* Relax, laugh, enjoy the moment.
* Go over the procedure, route, etc. for getting to the start.
* Do a very relaxed mental rehearsal of the marathon, concentrating on the positive.
* Pack your bag.

Your Marathon Bag Should Contain

* Race number, pins and chip
* Race instructions, map, etc.
* A copy of your magic marathon words (“I’m having fun”, “My legs are strong”, “One more step”)
* Prepare to bring a controversial issue, at least one interesting story and at least one joke
* Shoes, socks, shirt, shorts
* Other clothes if it’s cold: tights, polypro top, long-sleeved T, gloves, hat, ear covering, etc.
* Water (about 32-64 ounces)
* Bandages, Vaseline, etc.
* $20-30 for reserve funds (cab or rapid transit tokens, etc.)
* Energy bars or your chosen carbohydrate source (enough for start, second half, and after)
* Fanny pack or plastic bags, pins
* Some extra “throwaway” shirts and/or pants as extra layers in case the staging area is cold
* Garbage bags as an inexpensive waterproof top and ground cover

Marathon Morning List

* Drink four to six ounces of water every 30 minutes until you hear “sloshing.”
* Eat – according to the schedule which has worked for you in the long runs (example: one energy bar with eight ounces of water, one to two hours before the start).
* Bring your bag, car keys, etc.
* Leave at least 30 minutes before you think you’ll need to leave . . . in case of traffic, etc.
* If you have several hours at race site before start, stay warm, get off your feet and relax.
* Sixty minutes before the start, walk around the staging area to mentally rehearse lining up.
* Thirty minutes before the start, walk around for 15 minutes to get the legs moving.
* Jog for three to five minutes (very slowly) just before lining up.
* Keep the legs moving, in place if necessary, as you stand waiting for the start.
* If going for a time goal, get to the starting area early enough to secure a good place.
* Most of us with the goal “to finish” should line up in the back of the crowd.
* Joke around; enjoy the energy and personalities of the folks nearby.
* Go out slowly. If it’s hot, go out even slower!
* Get over to the side of the road and take every walk break, from the beginning.
* If you feel warm, pour water over your head at each water stop.
* Each walk break gives you a chance to appreciate and enjoy every mile.
* When tired shorten your stride.
* Don’t stretch during the run or immediately afterward.
* You may cut out the walk breaks after mile 18 if you’re feeling good.

Immediately Afterward

* Grab water and carbohydrate food(s).
* Walk, eat and drink for at least a mile.


* If possible, immerse your legs in a cold bath as soon after the finish as possible.
* Walk for 30 to 60 minutes later in the day.
* Eat carbohydrate snacks continuously for the rest of the day.
* Drink four to six ounces of water or electrolyte fluid (at least) every hour.
* Walk for 30 to 60 minutes the next day.
* Run/walk for 30 to 45 minutes two days after the marathon.
* Continue to alternate: walk 30 to 60 minutes and run/walk 30 to 45 minutes.
* Wait at least a week before you 1) schedule your next race and 2) vow never to do another marathon.


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