Marathon Race Day Do’s & Don’ts

competition marathon running training SheffieldMarathon Race Day Do’s & Don’ts

Marathon Race Day Do’s & Don’ts

There are plenty of things before and on race day that you should want to do and not want to do. Below is my list of what I use. It’s not the most definitive list but it should help you.


  • Think positive / visualise finishing.
  • Review the course profile – know where the start and finish will be along with any hills and where the water stations will be located.
  • Checking your kit a few days before the race will help make sure you don’t forget anything.
  • Arrive early.
  • Put your name on the front of your t-shirt or vest, as the crowd will lift you by shouting your name.
  • Have a fueling plan and stick to it (remember to eat).
  • Walk or slow pace down if you need to drink. Drinking whilst running fast is difficult and you’re likely to end up getting covered in water rather than drinking it.
  • Make a plan with any family and friends on where they are going to be standing to cheer you on so you can look forward to seeing them.
  • Arrange a meeting point at the finish so they are easy to find.
  • Warm up properly. For example 5-10 mins gentle jog with some dynamic stretches (leg swings, lunges, skips) and running drills (high knees, butt kicks, leg drives, short sprints) performed after.
  • Break up the race into manageable chunks. For example 10miles, 10 miles and 10km or 5m blocks.
  • Do some gentle exercise the day before to ward off any pre race jitters. For example a 60 min walk.
  • Have a mantra.
  • Enjoy the moment
  • Smile!



  • Don’t set off too quickly, have a pacing plan and stick to it. Otherwise you’ll only last a few miles and then ‘blow up’.
  • If you run a slow first mile don’t try to make it up over the next mile make it up over the next 8-10 miles instead.
  • Don’t go to the first volunteer at a water station, avoid the crowds and go further back.
  • Don’t be on your feet shopping or sightseeing the day before your race. This will leave you feeling jaded.
  • Don’t wear brand new untested shoes or clothes or try anything new on the day.
  • Don’t tie your shoelaces too tight. Your shoes will become tight as the race progresses as your feet may start to swell and having a tight fitting shoe may impinge your foots movement and cause you pain.
  • Don’t over hydrate the day before and during the race.