Running with Rob (Week 7) - Expert advice to get you over the line

It’s getting really close to race day now and nerves will be setting in. For a first time marathoner, the mental effort that goes into anticipating all the different scenarios that can happen can be exhausting.

I was a nervous wreck in the days before my first marathon. Watching ‘Run Fat Boy Run’ the night before didn’t exactly help either!

The main thing you need to do at this stage is relax. If you have the training done, you need to focus on enjoying the big day.

You’re probably sick of my meanderings after seven weeks, so I’ve recruited some of my friends in the running community to give you their top tips for race day.

These people have done it time and time again and are well placed to offer advice on everything from fuelling and hydration to time goals and race strategies.

I’ve learned everything I know from soaking up information from other runners and applying it to my own race day routine.  When the margins between success and failure are so fine, these little nuggets of wisdom are often what can get you over the line.

Roisín Burke (a several time marathoner who is running the half marathon this year)

"Regardless of the weather make sure you stay hydrated, try and relax and enjoy yourself. Remember, no matter what your time is, you still get a medal!"

Stephen Rooney (an experienced marathon runner)

My best advice would be to start about 30 seconds slower than your expected marathon pace for the first three miles to save some fuel for the last few miles. Also, fuel early and often.”

Alex O’Shea (marathon and ultra marathon runner)

Stick to your plan and don't introduce anything new. Stick to regular breakfasts and regular running kit. Now is not the time to try a new pair of runners socks top and shorts etc. If you use gels stick to what you have been using up-to now. If you haven't tried them then don't start now.

Above all, relax and enjoy your day be organised plan your route to the start line.”

Eamonn Gardiner (Marathoner and budding ultra runner)

Prepare your day in advance. Your hydration cut off point, toilets, food and post race routine, all need to be thought through so you don't get cold and suffer unnecessarily. Second is just don't set yourself rigid goals. My second last race I said I HAD to set a new PB. It almost ruined my day. Last race was way more enjoyable and relaxed!”

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