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Tips for Marathon Runners

Running a long distance race like the Toronto Waterfront Marathon or the Ironman Competition takes months of hard training, proper diet and preparation. All competitive sports require that extra level of commitment. Here are 5 handy tips to get ready for a race with only a month to go:

#1. Buy New Shoes

Don't run your race in brand new shoes, or the old trainers you have been practicing in for months! One month is an ideal amount of time to find a new pair, and practice, to break them in. It will allow the time for the new shoes to feel comfortable, but remain relatively new for the race. (Wearing brand new shoes will feel uncomfortable.)

#2. Check Your Distance

You should be able to run at least 3/4 of your race distance with ease. It's not necessary to practice the full distance, but doing a practice run is a confidence boost. You will feel less nervous if you know you can complete the full distance having done 75% of it with barely trying.

#3. Merge Your Training Runs

Running intervals, for time, endurance, and speed are all necessary, separate, training techniques. However, now it's time to combine them. Start training with one run per week during which you "run your best." Have a session running fast and long, with little recovery time, if you require walking breaks, will be great practice for building your endurance.

#4. Plan for Race Day

Start planning for the morning of the race. Think about what you will eat for breakfast, and what snacks or gels to bring for the run. Decide what to wear and run a few times in the outfit to make sure it's comfortable, and nothing bothers you about it. Plan for rides or parking, and be sure to consider all of the practical matters like urinating before the race, what you will eat the night before, optional things you might wear depending on weather conditions, etc.

#5. Ask Friends and Family to Come Out

You'll need a cheer squad. Ask friends and family well in advance to come out and cheer you on. Plan for a celebratory big breakfast / dinner, for when you triumphantly cross the finish line and everyone can celebrate.

Being prepared for race day will ease nerves, and save time on the big day. This will leave more free time for training, and will have you relaxed at the starting line, and pumped for the race.

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