Tips for the Free Press Flagstar Marathon

Tips for the Free Press Flagstar Marathon

Tips for the Free Press Flagstar Marathon

With just a few days to go before the Detroit Free Press Flagstar Marathon there are still a few things that runners can do to help the experience meet their expectations.

Start with a printed check list of what to bring to the start so that you can take one less worry away from your sleep the night before.

Layout all of your racing clothes. Attach your race number and timing tag ahead of time. Include some throw away clothes for the starting area and a change of clothes to pick up at baggage claim.

Leaving a change of clothes with baggage claim takes the responsibility away from you friends and family in case they have trouble finding you. Runners should remember that their body temperature will drop significantly within fifteen minutes after completing the race. The quicker you change the more comfortable you will feel later on.

Don’t, I repeat, don’t wear anything you haven’t washed at least once or worn during your training runs. You might have picked up some great looking bargains at the expo but save those for another day.

I still see too many runners that are over dressed. Most runners will begin to heat up after just a few miles. Sweat soaked cotton shirts just add more weight and make you feel uncomfortable. There are plenty of great dry wicking outfits available. Adjust for the weather, if it sunny a lightweight cap and sunglasses can help. If it’s cold, gloves and a dry fit cap that covers the ears should help.

After you have picked up your number at registration, take the time to drive the last six miles of the course. If you can visualize where you are and can see yourself crossing the finish line it will help you overcome the rough spots.

If you’re a little nervous before the race you should be. It’s about anticipating the excitement. Being too nervous doesn’t help but remember this. Think about the starting horn already going off. Most runners rarely think about being nervous once the race starts. A little nervousness improves your ability to go to the bathroom. If you can’t make it a few times before the run begins there are always port-a-potties a few miles into the race.

Hydrating is a good thing but there is no need to overdo it. Hyponatremia, drinking so much water that you cause an electrolyte (low sodium) disturbance, while rare, can kill you. Runners can recover from being dehydrated. If you’re cramping late in a race you’re probably low on sodium. Stopping for extra fluids, especially Gatorade, rather than grabbing a few sips may help you through this.

I’ve experience rough spots or bad patches a various times during a race. Sometimes it happens early because I haven’t established a rhythm. Self talk usually helps. I repeat short phrases or mantra’s if you prefer. Early on I’ve tried, “be patient or relax, relax”. Struggling though one of my last marathons I used, “get ‘er done”.

Use your watch as a guide not as definitive measurement. Pay more attention to how you body feels. You should know if you’re pushing too hard. Time in the bank rarely works. Better to be a little behind early on. The key is not how fast you start out running but how much less you slow down late in the race.

Bask in the glory of finishing another marathon. Don’t stop your watch at the finish line. Look up at the cameras, smile and show everyone that you did it!