A few months before the Marathon

Equipment
Select and run marathon shoes at least two months before the marathon. Never start with new shoes. Light competition shoes are unsuitable for most runners for a marathon because due to their lightweight construction, competition shoes provide less support and guidance than stable training shoes and therefore require very well trained foot muscles over this long distance.

Scope of training
Long-term planning. First, increase training in the months before the run, then reduce the amount of training in the last month. The last weeks before the marathon only serve to keep your form.

Accompanying measures
Not only intensify the training but also do not forget accompanying measures such as stretching and strengthening.

Long Jog
In the last months plan several 2-3-hour runs, the last about three weeks before the marathon. No more draining runs afterward.

Training/competition time
Most marathons start early in the morning. Therefore plan longer runs early in the morning and not only in the evening.

Pulse control
In preparation, training with pulse control is highly recommended, but not necessarily helpful for the marathon itself, as the pulse behavior deviates significantly from the training values solely due to nervousness.

Mental preparation
To imagine the marathon in the training runs (e.g., the ease on the way, behavior during cramps, side stitches, at the refreshment station, at the finish, etc.). To see the different situations in front of your eyes and, if necessary, to define strategies for coping with them.

Reducing ambition
The last week before the race, patience is the order of the day. Only free training, body care. In the previous day’s short runs with some increases to looseness and effervescence, but no more exhausting runs.

Organizational
Study organizational procedures (numbering, transport to the starting area, choice of the starting block, etc.).

Catering practice
Try out if you want to run with a drinking belt and if you can also run. The feeding stations are usually available at sufficiently short intervals to be able to walk without a drinking belt. Test the compatibility of various products (sports drinks, bars, gels, etc.). Find out which products are offered at the marathon.

Rest/sleep
Plan enough rest and sleep for the last week. Do not go stressed to a marathon.

Food
In the last days before the marathon, eat few whole grain products and also do without large quantities of salad and vegetables (strain digestion). Take lots of carbohydrates.

Drinking
Drink a lot the last four days before the marathon. Control: light urine. Reduce alcohol consumption in the previous few days or better leave it out altogether.

Foot care
Check (and if necessary cut) toenails about two to three days before the run. Protect critical areas against possible blisters with plaster or tape (try before).

Visualize
Build self-confidence and confidence, put any doubts aside. Positive thoughts influence performance positively, negative thoughts inhibit it. Thinking about the finish line. Nevertheless, prepare for an emotional roller coaster and consider how to react to problems.

Hand luggage
During a marathon trip, take your running shoes and running clothes with you in your hand luggage for safety. Also pack personal accessories such as pads, foot cream, sun cream, roof cap, safety pins, toilet paper, etc.). Do not forget old clothes to keep warm before the start. The gears can then be thrown away shortly before the beginning (the organizers collect them and send them to charitable organizations).

Last day before Marathon

Leg Work
Not standing around for hours at the marathon fair and also not walking through the city all day, that gives you heavy legs. Spend some time sitting or lying down.

Provision of material/clothing
Mount the chip on the shoes, choose running clothes (choose so that you are cool at the beginning; don’t wear too warm). Fasten your race number. Observe weather forecast (possibly think of headgear or sun cream). Prepare warming clothes.

Running socks
A small detail with significant effect. Special running socks are made of functional material and have no thick seams. They are also reinforced in delicate areas. Do not use new or unwashed running socks at marathons, but those that have been worn several times before.

Running speed
I’ve got a timetable right here. If necessary, write transit times for 5, 10, 15 km, etc. on wrist or note on the wrist (realistic time target: marathon speed = half marathon time x 2 plus 10-15.

Nutrition
Do not place the time of the last (carbohydrate-rich and easily digestible) meal too late in the evening (reserve a table in the restaurant if necessary).

Details
Think of details: e.g., masking the nipples (place the plaster on the table). Apply cream to feet (flat feet prevent the formation of blisters). Plan personal preferences and habits.

(Watch my friend on her training!)

Marathon day

Breakfast
Plan the last more substantial meal about 21/2-3 hours before the start. Do not take anything unusual. The last 1-2 hours before the beginning no more diuretic drinks like coffee or fruit tea.

Last preparation/start phase
Pack necessary material. Transport to the launch site early enough. Warm up, shrink, last toilet call. Mental preparation. Throw old clothes to the side just before the start. Don’t start too fast, keep your rhythm and don’t let yourself be influenced. Run more at the edge. Don’t want to create a time deposit, that’s revenge against the end.

Catering
Use every catering station right from the start. To drink for a few meters walking pace and walking break. If necessary, take gels or bars together with the liquid.

Mastering crises
Think positively (“already half,” “only one third left,” “now my house round” etc.). To suppress possible complaints like side stitches or muscle aches from the thoughts. Concentrate on running style, spectators and distance. Remember: All around everyone else is also thinking about why they are running!

After the marathon

Movement/Heat
Do not stop or lay on the ground after the finish. Continue marching, always move slightly. If available, take warming foil immediately and protect yourself from the cold. Remove wet clothes as quickly as possible and put on warm clothes.

Showering/bathing
Treat yourself to a hot shower or even better a hot bath, if possible also a message. Warming ointments increase your well-being.

Nutrition/Liquid
Immediately after finishing, begin to compensate for the loss of fluid, drink plenty (sports drink with carbohydrates). Later, take a proper meal containing carbohydrates. Alcohol immediately after the run (in the first hours) prolongs regeneration.

Regeneration
In the morning after the run, perform a relaxed and regenerative footing (combined with gymnastics and stretching). This improves and accelerates recovery. If necessary, then the next day’s movement training with alternative movement forms in the water or on the bicycle. No significant stress in the weeks after a marathon. The complete regeneration lasts about 2-3 months.