Marathon Blog

Planning and Practicing for Race Day

Planning and practicing for race day

By Linnea Omholt, Edward Rehabilitation Services and Sports Medicine


As the race draws near, anticipation builds. With the training days dwindling, keep your eye on the prize. Sticking to your plan now is critical as you make your way toward the starting line. Here are my final-month plan and practice tips to ensure you’re prepared when it’s time to RUN!

No double sessions required. This isn’t school and you don’t need to cram in missed workouts to make up training. Take things one day at a time and if you miss a run or cross-training session, pick right back up the next day. This is not the time to overdo your workouts and wear yourself out.

Your body knows. You’ve been preparing for months and you’re ready. But as the day draws near, be sure to listen to your body, looking for signs that you need more nutrition or rest. If you wake up feeling you haven’t recovered from the prior day’s workout, up your food intake and get more sleep the next night.


Longest run alert. If you plan to taper, and you should, your longest run should be 3-4 weeks before the race to allow your body enough recovery time. Plan to mimic as many aspects of the race as you can during that long run, such as your pre-run nutrition, the race time, your during-run hydration, your wardrobe and your route.


Time off. Plan to take a day off two days before the big day to allow your body to rest. The day before the event, go for an easy run, about 15 to 18 minutes in length, to keep your muscles loose and ready. If you’ve followed a different plan for a previous marathon, do that instead. Consistency and comfort–from both a physical and mental standpoint—is key.

Get mental. In the last few weeks before the marathon, do what you can to reduce stress. Stay in and off your feet, letting your body rest and conserve the energy it will need. Spend time visualizing yourself throughout the race running past course landmarks, feel the excitement of the crowd and imagine crossing the finish line. It’s almost here—enjoy your amazing accomplishment!

For more of my favorite last minute marathon tips, visit Runner’s World’s 26 Tips for Running Your Best 26.2.

linnea omholt 2

Linnea Omholt, PT, DPT

Edward Rehabilitation Services and Sports Medicine