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Sports Medicine | Oct 3, 2018

Have you decided to run a marathon – but it’s only a few weeks away? Here are some tips to help you get into shape fast for your race day.

  1. Pace yourself. If you have not trained yet, or only trained lightly, remember that you can only do so much and that the two weeks before a race is when pros taper off.  You can run the length of your planned marathon over a two day period, then just take a long walk or jog during a “rest day” to remain flexible, and repeat.
  2. Eat right. Have solid nutritional plan to ensure you are getting what your body needs. Watch your hydration levels – if you dehydrate, recovery before the race isn’t guaranteed. Balance your fiber intake, and watch your carbo loading.
  3. Sleep. Sleep deprivation is cumulative. Get enough rest every night. Don’t accumulate “sleep debt” and then try to pay it with just a few extra hours on the weekend.  
  4. Plan ahead. The time to prepare is well before the race, not on the morning it is scheduled. Break in those new shoes now and test different kinds of socks.
  5. Assure transportation. Set alerts to remind you when you need to leave to be at the starting line on time, and factor in extra transportation time in case of bad traffic.
  6. Pack a bag. It can be cold starting out, and then after the marathon you may feel chilly. Take a throwaway sweatshirt you can discard along the way, plus a hoodie and track pants for after the race. Also take a high sodium, potassium, and glucose drink along to drink after the race.
  7. Relax. The night before the race, avoid screens when falling asleep. Blue light can make it hard to go down easily. Instead, read a book to slow your brain down, and turn in on time – not early or late.
  8. Morning of: Try to wake up normally, take a quick and cool shower, and grab a meal to safely fuel you before double-checking all of your gear. You’ll need to remember your personal ID, as well as your health insurance card and any other medical data.
  9. Stay positive! A mantra can help you both during your prep time and on the day of the race itself. Remember, you are only competing against yourself! The point of the marathon is in the running.

Use these last minute marathon training and preparation tips to help you have a safe, empowering race. If you have any knee soreness during training, or are unsure of your fitness level before beginning to train, schedule an appointment with Dr. Strasburger.