We at Paramount have run our fair share of races, and through the thrill of them all, we've learned a few things to make any race more enjoyable. With the Chicago Marathon soon approaching, we want to share some of our best tips:
DO NOT change your diet—It’s a rookie mistake to suddenly switch up your nutrition. If you eat eggs and fruit every Saturday before your long run, then do the same on race day. If you’ve been drinking an ounce of melon-flavored Powerade every mile, race day is not the time to decide, “Hey, maybe I should try 10 ounces of purple Gatorade per mile.” Race day is your finest hour, so keep doing what’s made you successful thus far. Besides, you never know how your body or digestive system will react to any changes.
Write your name on your shirt—Let the crowd know who you are. Let them know they can support you. Knowing the world is on your side will give you the pep in your step you want with every passing mile. There’s nothing like having random strangers cheer you on, especially when you hit a tough stretch or need a little a boost.
Keep calm and carry your pace—Standing amidst excited runners, with the crowd cheering, your adrenaline will definitely be pumping. But that’s no reason to come out of the gate too quickly. It’s best to stick to your pace. No matter how great you feel the first few miles, stick to what you've planned on. I've tried the whole, “I feel amazing. I guess I’ll just run a little faster than pace now.” Trust me. It doesn't end well.
Get rest—Be sure and get some sleep the week before the race. Often, the anticipation of the upcoming 26.2 miles and race-day jitters can keep you from getting ideal sleep the night before. Be sure and stock up earlier in the week.
Enjoy yourself—Whether this is your first or your 47th marathon, you already put in the hard work and all the training, so don’t stress it. No matter your time, you’re going to crush it.
As the spectators chant your name mile after mile, you’ll realize there’s no better sensation in the world than running through the greatest city on earth. On race day, there’s nothing else you’ll know how to do besides enjoy the experience.