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Marathon Training: What to Do 48 Hours Before, During and Post the Big Race

Saravanan "Sharu" Hariram

January 16, 2020

Months of preparation have gone into your marathon training and the big race is now right around the corner. What do you do 48 hours before? Whatever it takes to ensure that you reach the starting line calm, confident and ready for your best run.

Contrary to popular perception, a week before race day is time to taper down, not intensify your training plan. However, the last 48 hours is considered to be the most crucial, as it’s time to take extra care of your body, indulge in some foot care, increase the right food intake and generally prepare yourself mentally for the big day.

Here are a few tips that you can follow before, during, and post the big run:

Increasing the right food intake is crucial

Increase your carbohydrate intake by a few hundred calories in the run-up to race day. An extra 300-500 calories a day helps the body build up and store energy in preparation for the big day. Here’s a diet plan that will help you gain the much needed energy and stamina for the big day:

Cut down on training

To laymen, it would make sense if marathon runners intensify training as race day approaches, but that’s not what any marathon training guide would recommend. We recommend lowering the intensity of training in the run-up to the race. Cut down your training gradually before the marathon, coming to a complete stop two or three days before the event. This will allow the body to recover sufficiently from training, re-build muscles and get sufficient rest.

24 Hours before the race

You are now just a day away from starting your much awaited marathon. Whether you are a professional and have taken part in many races or you are beginner trying to challenge yourself, the foods that you consume in this time frame will help transform all that hard work into a fantastic performance. Below are a few meal tips that you can follow to keep you not only steady but ready to go.

Get happy feet

Your feet have been bearing the brunt of all that tough training and it’s time to make it up to them. Don’t wear new running shoes on the day of the marathon because your feet have adapted to the old pair. New shoes may lead to rashes and even cause you to abandon the race. In fact, as part of marathon training for beginners, we advise you not to do anything drastically different on the day of the race which you aren’t used to while training. Given below are a few other tips that you can follow before and during the run.

Post run tips

The race is done and the laurel is won. What’s next you wonder?
Recovery preparation is a must after a marathon as the intensity of the race and the training season may have effected you in such a way, that you may not be aware of. Therefore, following the given below recovery strategies will not only do you wonders but will keep you ready for your next big run.

So, with these tips, we hope you stay safe and enjoy every bit of the run as the pride in finishing a marathon is much greater, than all the pain you endured during it.

About the Author

Saravanan “Sharu” Hariram is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer with a passion for bodybuilding. Combining his love for fitness with his career, Sharu did his certification in Sports Nutrition, and Rehabilitation and Healing Nutrition. Currently a Master Trainer with HealthifyMe, he specializes in Weight Management, Marathon Training, and Physical Rehabilitation. In his 20+ years of experience, Sharu has always maintained that one’s mind must have control over their body in order to lead a healthy life. At HealthifyMe, he continues to follow his passion while helping those around him realise their fitness goals.

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