This weekend is a big race weekend with lots big and small marathons and half marathons happening around the U.S. Are you running one of them? Here are some tips for the morning of your race:
Nothing new on race day. Don't experiment with new foods or beverages for breakfast. Stick to foods that you've tried out before your long runs, so there are no surprises during the marathon. Make sure you finish eating breakfast at least 90 minutes before race start.
Don't forget your race essentials. You should have laid out everything you need for the race the night before, but don't forget to grab it. Most importantly, make sure you have your race bib and timing chip (if the race is using them). And don't forget to apply sunscreen -- you can still get a bad sunburn even though it's not summer.
Stay relaxed. If you're feeling anxious, try breathing deeply from your belly. You'll feel an instant calming effect and you'll also help prevent side stitches. When you're waiting in the starting area, do something relaxing, like listening to music, reading, or meditating, so you can block out other runners' nervous chatter.
Get on line for the bathroom. Don't wait too long to get on line for the porta-potties. Lines will be very long, and you don't want to be nervous about missing the start because you're still waiting.
Here's more advice to help you have a successful marathon day: