Pre-Race Checklist for Half and Full Marathons

Fitness Tips

Pre-Race Checklist for Half and Full Marathons

After months of training, you’re ready to tackle your full or half-marathon. Well, you think you are. But what if you forget something at the last moment?

Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. To celebrate our new partnership as the Official Treadmill of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series, we've put together this pre-race checklist that will ensure you have one and only one thing to worry about the day of your race: running it.

Weeks before

Taper off

In the week or two before your race, taper off your running to a couple of days. In the days directly preceding it, give your body a rest and stop running altogether.

Days before

Cut the alcohol

The last thing you want is to become dehydrated in the first few miles of your full or half marathon. Consequently, it's key to cut out alcoholic beverages – there will be plenty of time to celebrate later!

Up the carbs and electrolytes

Don’t go overboard, but slightly increase your carb intake in the days before the race. Rice and pasta are good options. Also, remember to drink plenty of water and electrolyte-intensive drinks.

Go over the course

Drive the course ahead of time to mentally prepare – a hill is a lot less demoralizing if you’re ready for it. Many marathon organizers will offer a free shuttle that takes you through the course as well.

The night before

Lay out your outfit

This includes your bib, your running clothes, shoes, and a water bottle (if you want one). Also make sure any tech you might require (pacing watch, iPod) is fully charged. And if you ARE listening to some tunes, check out one of our playlists (here and here) for inspiration!

It should be noted, NEVER wear anything new on race day – you want to know how your clothes and shoes will feel and perform.

Eat a substantial dinner

A carb, lean protein and vegetables should do the trick. But avoid any foods that may too spicy or fibrous. You won’t want to have any digestive issues while on the course. And as with the outfit, don’t eat anything you haven’t eaten before!

Establish how you’ll get there

If you’re travelling by car, make sure you have a full gas tank. If you’re taking public transportation, be sure you have the appropriate method of payment.

Set your alarm clock

…And then set another one. Remember to account for race-day traffic and some additional wake-up/stretch time. The worst thing is to feel rushed before the big event.

Go to bed early

You’ll want to get plenty of sleep the night before (after all, 13.1 and 26.2 miles are nothing to sneeze at). Again don’t do anything you wouldn't normally do (i.e. take sleeping pills for the first time).



Make sure your stretches on race day are exhaustive.


But not don’t go overboard. The last thing you want is a sick, bloated feeling – or to have to immediately stop for the bathroom. Which brings us to the next point…

Go to the bathroom

This seems fairly self-explanatory.

Apply sunscreen

And remember, you can still be burned on an overcast day.

Apply your anti-chaffing stick

And apply it LIBERALLY. For women, the sports bra area and thighs are especially important. Everyone needs to saturate their feet to avoid blisters. Men may also want to consider wearing nip guards.

To eat or not to eat?

This is largely a matter of personal preference, but a good rule of thumb is to have a small (less than 200 calorie) snack at least an hour before the race. A granola bar or half a bagel often suit nicely.

Hopefully with these tips, your half or full marathon will go off without a hitch. Good luck!