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How to smash a marathon

08 August 2019

Marathons made easier with these 8 hacks

SunGod Ambassador Marcus Brown shares his tried and tested marathon tips to take the pressure off on race day…

Who is Marcus Brown?

SunGod Ambassador Marcus Brown lives and breathes the marathon life. When he is not busy being a family man, Marcus is chasing down a sub 3 hour marathon. Having successfully completed 20 marathons to date, Marcus knows a thing or two about marathon prep...

A proud marathon addict, Marcus has completed 20 marathons so far...

1. Rehearse your race day meal plan

I am sure you are well versed on what you need to eat on race day but make sure you have done a test run with your meal plan - You’ve spent months training for the race, don’t ruin it by eating or drinking something new on race day for the risk that it doesn’t agree with you! On marathon morning eat at least two hours before the start, aiming for a minimum of 150g of carbs. I tend to have a bagel with peanut butter and a carb drink. If you're staying in a hotel, make sure the breakfast buffet is open when you need it to be! If not, you will need to pick up supplies the night before.

2. Ensure all new kit is fully 'broken in' before the big day

To avoid chaffing and blisters, ensure all of your kit has been properly broken in before race day. In reality, I’d advise using your weekly longer runs to practice what you’re going to wear on the race day. Have a few clothing options that you’ve worn in properly, both for optimal weather and for adverse weather.

"The more you focus on what you can control, the better - practice your routines in your training and you’ll feel more relaxed come race day."

3. Double tie those laces

This can, quite literally, trip you up! If you’re racing for a PB, make sure your shoe laces are secure so you don’t lose precious seconds stopping to retie them mid-race. The triathletes do this best, there are a number of quick release systems out there that can be secured quickly.

4. Be start-line-savvy

If it’s cold at the start line, stay fully clothed until the last minute. If you don’t, your body will be burning precious energy trying to stay warm. Wear clothes that you won’t mind donating because the chances of you seeing them again once you have thrown them aside are slim! When the gun goes, follow the blue line, don’t zig-zag or you’ll run extra distance!

"Double tie those laces! Trust me, there’s nothing worse than trying to re-tie your laces mid-race when it’s cold and wet and your hands are unwilling to co-operate..."

5. Beware the water stations…

Water stations are crazy, have your wits about you! Be wary of the hazards such as people cutting across you to slow down or just stopping to drink. On the ground look out for gels, water bottles, food and anything else that could trip you up!

6. Technology isn’t always your friend

Watch signals can go haywire in built up areas, particularly those with sky scrapers. If you’re running in a big city marathon like Chicago or Tokyo, Learn to trust and know your pace without clock watching in training. GPS Watches are useful as guidance tools when we are training to hit certain paces but you have to learn to trust yourself and know your pace, rather than relying on your watch.

"You must learn trust yourself when running at a certain pace, rather than relying on your watch."

7. Embrace the crowds

Crowd support will really lift you, aim to get your name on your shirt because personalised support is always great. Remember though, whether their words of “keep going you’re almost there” are true or not, it’s coming from a good place so don’t be salty with your response!

8. Those last few miles…

The final miles will take you into deep waters that you haven’t experienced in training. At points it’ll feel like you can’t run. Stop looking at your watch and give your best effort for the moment you are in. Recall why you are there, the sacrifices you have made to be there and all the times you didn’t quit – even when you wanted to. My best tip of all is to run each of those painful last miles for someone who means a lot to you.

"There will be highs and lows during a marathon, both moments will eventually pass and interchange. For the low moments don’t forget the reason you are there."

You're almost set for race-day, keep training, stay motivated and have fun! If you are in need of more marathon related inspiration, discover how this group of SunGod Ambassadors ran 10 marathons in 10 days here.

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