How to prepare for a marathon | INCUS

Nail your marathon day preparation with tips from ASICS Frontrunner UK team member and ten-time marathon runner, RunWithRachel. 

From non runner to marathon finisher in just six-months, Rachel from Yorkshire, 39, has a fastest finish of 4.12.55 - not bad for someone who a few years ago didn't own a pair of trainers! "I wanted to do something different to challenge myself so I signed up for a marathon - even though I'd never run before." 

If you are running the London Marathon for the first time, or your eleventh as Rachel is, it still pays to think about the details. When you have spent hours and hours training for a marathon, squeezing in your long runs and being devoted to your training plans the last thing you want to do in the final few days is  ruin your hard work. 

Swap training time for prep time. 

You've done your final tough training run and cut back on your weekly mileage so it can feel a little bit strange to suddenly have so much more time on your hands, but use what would normally be your training time to make sure you have prepped your kit and are relaxed and focussed. 

Here Rachel shares her marathon running tips to help you prepare physically and mentally so you can cross the finish line feeling like you gave it your best shot! 

1) Is there anything you like to do in the final days before the race ? 

I decide what I'm wearing and make sure it's clean. Weird one - I cut my toenails (no one wants bleeding feet)

I like to make a race day plan - this eliminates a lot of unnecessary stress. I make sure I know how to get there. Look for road closures, where to park etc. Race villages are usually well signposted but I like to check how to get to the start line too.

I look at the course route and familiarise myself with water stops. If I've got friends and family coming to support I think about what parts of the course I'll need encouragement the most and arrange for them to be there!

2) When do you select your kit and pack your race bag? What goes in it? 

I put my kit together a few days before - so I'm not rushing around and it gives me time to get anything I'm missing. 

Kit bag essentials 

  • Race number and safety pins
  • Timing Chip (If it’s separate to your number)
  • GPS watch (make sure it's fully charged)
  • Gels / water / jelly babies
  • Vaseline or any kind of chafing gel
  • Sunscreen
  • Plasters
  • Something warm to wear after 

 

3) Do you have a go-to pre-event meal? 

The evening before I usually have some sort of pasta - with a side of garlic bread and plenty of water! For breakfast it is porridge with a banana and biscoff race morning with a coffee! 

4) How do you calm your nerves and get a good night's sleep the night before ? 

Nerves are normal - even when you've done multiple marathons you still get them. You just have to trust the training, there’s nothing more you can do now. I try to get to bed earlier for a few days in the run up to the marathon to make sure I'm well rested. 

5) On the morning of the marathon do you have any pre-event rituals you always do? 

I don't - although I've seen someone use the same safety pins for every race, so I might steal that! Lucky pins! 

Trust the training 

One thing that can really help calm nerves and keep you focused is recapping the training efforts you have made and how much you have improved in the build-up to the big day. Looking through your training diary and recorded sessions on the INCUS | CLOUD app can help you to see your progress. It's a long journey just to get to the start line - feel pride in how far you have already come! 

Running 26.2 miles is the icing on the cake, the chance to test how effective your training and preparation has been. If you've managed to consistently train and stay injury free that is half the battle of a successful run. 

To find out more about how INCUS can help you improve your run performance and stay-injury free head to our product page and discover the unique metrics which makes INCUS a world first in wearable tech. Including Pro-Insights, top-tips from some of the World's best runners, swimmers and triathletes, to help you make every session count and make your next run your best one yet.