Nancy Errichetti of Raleigh is an avid runner who has completed multiple marathons. With so much preparation necessary to complete a marathon, a runner goes through a gambit of emotions on race day. Today’s article will allow Nancy Errichetti of Raleigh to help other runners make the most of their marathon race day.
All runners should understand that having trouble sleeping the night before a marathon is not uncommon. A lot of anticipation is built up for race day, so it may take a runner a bit longer to fall asleep. If it happens, don’t complicate the problem by obsessing over how many hours of quality sleep occurred. A runner should know that their preparation has allowed them to perform at a high level, whether they got 8 hours or 4 hours of sleep the night before.
Most marathons occur in the morning, so runners will often worry about what they should consume before a race. Nancy Errichetti of Raleigh does not recommend running on a completely empty stomach. If the marathon starts early, Nancy Errichetti of Raleigh recommends a high carbohydrate liquid about an hour before the race. Gatorade is the most recognizable high-carbohydrate sports drink, but plenty of other options exist. Nancy Errichetti of Raleigh advises that runners stay away from coffee and other heavily caffeinated beverages as these are diuretics, which can lead to severe discomfort during the actual run. A few bites of a protein bar an hour or so before a race can also ensure that the stomach is not empty, but the runner isn’t struggling with feeling bloated either.
Nancy Errichetti of Raleigh recommends preparing a list of what to bring long before the marathon day. Some things that runners may not think to pack but would be wise to bring include:
- Toilet Paper
- Running Watch
In addition to a packing list, a marathon runner should plan on arriving at the race early. No one ever knows when they will run into traffic, and no one wants to put the time and effort into preparing for a marathon only to arrive late because of traffic issues. Planning some extra time allows a runner to hit the bathroom before the race, meet up with any friends or family members participating in the race or even take a few moments to visualize the race in the car. Nancy Errichetti of Raleigh also notes that arriving early helps keep stress levels low as a runner won’t panic about being in the right place at their designated starting time.
About 20 minutes before race time, Nancy Errichetti of Raleigh recommends warming up. Many runners will do static stretches, but Nancy Errichetti recommends keeping everything dynamic. Whether walking or doing some high knees, it’s good to get the blood pumping and have the body feel loose before it embarks on the marathon journey.
Nancy Errichetti of Raleigh recommends taking a few minutes before the gun goes off to look around and take in the sights and sounds of the race. Reflecting with gratitude on the work that was put in to reach this momentous day is essential. Every runner wants to look back fondly on their marathon, and taking a moment or two to take everything in is a great way to get in the proper headspace for the race.
When the starting gun goes off, inexperienced marathon runners often take off in a sprint simply because of the adrenaline and excitement of competing in their first marathon. Nancy Errichetti of Raleigh recommends starting out slow and looking to set a pace for the race that can be maintained mile after mile. Nancy Errichetti of Raleigh notes that no runner should be looking to compare their start to others. No runner should allow negative thoughts to take control. Maintaining a positive mental attitude throughout the race will positively affect the body’s performance. Runners should maintain a positive outlook and constantly remind their body that it is performing great.
Every marathon runner should take advantage of the water or Gatorade that is present at the different first aid stations along a marathon route. There may be a temptation to skip a station early in the marathon because a table is crowded or the urge for a drink hasn’t started yet. Know that the beverage is to help in the present and the future. A lack of hydration can lead to cramps and other issues preventing a runner from completing the marathon. If a runner has extra water in their cup from the aid station, they should not waste it! Nancy Errichetti of Raleigh recommends pouring the water over the top of the head to help a runner avoid overheating, especially if running in warmer conditions.
As the race progresses there may be a few moments of doubt. Runners should always be willing to take a few moments to stretch or seek out a banana from an aid station. Also, if a dull pain develops in the muscles, runners should try to focus on breathing oxygen into this area. That focus could allow more oxygen to reach the muscle in need.
Above all else, Nancy Errichetti of Raleigh encourages all marathon runners to enjoy the day and never give up. Only a small percentage of people on the planet can complete a marathon run. Whether you find yourself amongst the race leaders or towards the back of the pack, you are accomplishing something truly special.