Get Ready To Run:

As spring arrives runners minds turn to thoughts of the marathon. Actually, runners minds are always on the marathon and there is no longer a "down" season. The budding flowers remind us that Boston is almost here and then like most flowers it is gone and time for another marathon to blossom.

“...One of the most common mistakes is buying a new pair of shoes too close to the marathon... ”

After years of treating marathoners, and having both run marathons and worked the sidelines, I’d like to review a few tips for the incipient marathoner.

One of the most common mistakes is buying a new pair of shoes too close to the marathon. Make sure that you leave yourself adequate time to break in your shoes before  either running a long run or the marathon in them. You should have at least 75 miles on your shoes before wearing them on the big day. You should also try not to wear any new clothes on that day. From your socks to your singlet or sweatshirt, all of your clothes should be broken in and comfortable. If you have had any problems with blisters, hopefully you’ve figured out that it is worth trying socks made of a wicking material such as Coolmax and not wearing cotton socks. 

“Figure out where some of those cameras will be taking your photo so you can  look  good for your marathon portrait. ”

In training make sure you leave yourself adequate time to taper from your last scheduled long run. Usually the taper time is 3 to 4 weeks. Don’t try to squeeze in one too many long runs and not be recovered before marathon day. The hard work should be done well in advance. You won’t benefit from trying to run too long or too fast within the 3 weeks before the marathon. You’ll more likely injure yourself and not make it to the start line.

If you’ve been slowed by an injury, don’t try to make up time and distance in the last few weeks. Make sure you follow the taper schedule you had planned to follow.

Pack up everything you need a few days in advance of the race. Gels for during the race, post race snacks, towel, and a change of clothes. You don’t want to think about what you’ll need the night before the race.


  • Wear shoes that you’ve had good success with and shoes that are broken in.
  • Make sure the rest of your clothes are also comfortable and broken in also including your sports bra or other sports underwear, shorts, singlet, sweats and socks.
  • Use broken in Coolmax socks or another “wicking” fiber for all of your runs and  on race day.
  • Taper adequately before the race. Your last long run should be 3 to 4 weeks before the race. Cut back or cut out your weight  training in these last few weeks before the marathon.
  • Try to get adequate sleep over the last month so your body can be as well recovered as possible from all the training you’ve been doing.
  • Eat healthy throughout your training. Don’t overeat  or drink much alcohol  on the night before  your  race. Do eat a carbohydrate rich meal for a few evenings before the marathon.  
  • Wear outer layer clothes you can throw away as the race goes on and you warm up. If you are going to be at the race line early, dress warm for the morning chill, and be prepared to ditch your outer layers as the race draws near or as you go along and warm up.
  • Use the same fluid replacement and  gel that you’ve practiced with on your long runs. Beware of under hydration and over hydration. If you are running for longer than 4 hours, consider using weighing stations if your marathon has them available to attempt to avoid hypernatremia.  
  • Remember to go out slower than you think you should so you can have a negative split and  not burn out somewhere before mile 20.
  • Figure out where some of those cameras will be taking your photo so you can  look  good for your marathon portrait.
  • Don’t forget after the race that you should rest about one week before running again and then “reverse” taper.


 Things To Bring:

  1. Race number  and safety pins. Pin this to your clothes two nights before the race.
  2. Running Shoes and all your racing clothes
  3. Clothes to toss, if it is cold. Long sleeve teeshirts, sweat clothes.
  4. Change  of clothes for after the race.
  5. Money for emergencies.
  6. Body glide, if you’ve used it for areas  that rub on previous long runs.
  7. Your own food for after the race  in case the race runs  low.
  8. Plastic  container of water  or sports drink to drink before the race
  9. Toilet paper to carry in your carry-along, in case of emergency.
  10. Very light  weight, miniature camera if you don’t expect to win.
  11. Throw away reading material for the  long  wait before the race.