Top Ten Marathon Race Day Tips

By Jonathan Levitt, August 5, 2022


With fall marathon season in full swing, I've been getting a lot of questions lately as folks begin planning for their race weekends. This year, I've set my sight on a new PR of 3:07 at the Philadelphia Marathon in a few weeks.

Being that I've asked these same questions myself, I decided to share 10 big tips I've picked up on my own journey to help you reach new records.

Whether or not you’ve optimized all of your endurance-related biomarkers (hello ferritin!), and whether or not you've tested with InsideTracker during a peak week or in the taper to measure the efficacy and volume of your training and nutrition, the following last-minute tips can make all the difference come race day!

Are you race ready?

1. When packing, put your fuel in your shoes (and then pack them!) so you can’t possibly forget it. You don’t want to get to your hotel room, or worse, the starting line, and realize you need to search for what you’ve been training with for the last 12+ weeks.


2. Lay out your entire race day kit as you pack. Shoes, socks, shorts, top (or not!), sunglasses, hat, your favorite gels and electrolytes… Everything! If you lay it all out, you’ll realize what you might have missed! (and then take a photo and post it on instagram, of course).


3. Bring a portable foam roller. It will hurt momentarily. But it will help in the long run! (pardon the pun)

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4. Don’t use all of your free time after arriving in the race city to see all the sights. Save your legs, and do this post race as a way to get in a little active recovery. An added bonus: you might even find some spots to add to that list while on your run!

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5. Start shifting your bedtime/wake time earlier for 5-7 days before you travel if you’re changing time zones for a race. Aim for 30/60/90 minutes per day instead of 3 hours all at once. Doing this can help manage stress levels on your body (hello cortisol!).



6. Haven't tested out your pre-race breakfast and dinner? Be sure to test it out on (at least) your last long run. Aim to keep the timing of the meals and race as close to the same time you expect to start on race day.



7. When in Rome don’t do as the Romans do…until after race day. Nothing new! That spicy, exotic dish might sound delicious, but you don’t want to take any chances and risk the last 3-4 months of training.

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8. Get in and out of the expo. You don’t need to (and shouldn’t) sample every cool looking product out there, especially so close to the big day.

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9. Bring Body Glide. Even if it’s not raining… if you like it, lube it. 26.2 miles is a long distance.



10. Stay hydrated in the days leading up to the race! Carry a water bottle around wherever you go.


Most importantly, remember this: it’s a 20 mile warmup, with a 10k race. You’ve put in the work, now get out there, have confidence in your training, and enjoy your victory lap!

So what race are you training for? Get started with InsideTracker today to reach your goals tomorrow. Not only would we love to help you be your best, we'd also like to support you along the way. Follow my adventures @jwlevitt, and be sure to tag @InsideTracker on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in your own adventure stories!

Are you race ready?

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