8 Ways To Survive The 2-3 Days Leading up to a Marathon

How long do you need to get rid of Marathon nerves when you can't run them out?



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First off, I say 2-3 days because some of us have nerves that kick in way before 48 hours out from a race. And probably well before that even. But three days gives us enough time where you won't drive yourself completely insane, you won't do that to others, and you'll manage your time effectively and well while prepping for your big Marathon!

The saying "recovery is meant to build you up, not break you down" is true. If you think about it, our running dreams won't have a possibility of coming true if it wasn't for this saying!

You don't want to leave yourself pacing around your house or your apartment, driving yourself insane without an action plan filled with activities other than running. You need a program to help you rest up and keep healthy while waiting for your big day!

Eight things to help you survive your pre-marathon day nerves

  1. Read an inspiring book! In Simon Sinek's book Start With Why he has a quote that always comes back to me in the days leading up to a 26.2-mile race. "To Inspire People to Do The Things That Inspire Them." This quote explains the energy in the Marathon, wherever it may be, before, during, and after the race. Every runner that's running in it is inspiring the runner next to them to keep on going! During the race! YES! #amiright

  2. There's no better feeling than seeing a fellow participant attain his or her goal that, at a certain point that was running in the race right next to you! You're both working just as hard for the same goal, regardless of speed.

  3. Go on a Netflix binge because you can. If you haven't seen Game of Thrones, I highly recommend you do so! 2-3 days seems about right to fit int anywhere from four to five of the six seasons! Full disclosure: If you haven't seen it yet, I am very jealous of you. Enjoy!

  4. Organize your emails and do the work on the backend that isn't urgent. You can still be productive with nerves while working, but it might help you divert your attention towards a different project or task for the days leading up to the race. Remember ONE thing at a time!

  5. Walk around and explore the neighborhood! Sometimes, when we're running, especially if it's a running workout, we miss everything surrounding us. One of the biggest reasons I love to run outside is exploring and seeing all of the sights I wouldn't see had I not run. Also, I love seeing familiar faces, but I hate having to keep running to squeeze a workout in when that happens. THE WORST. It's a good thing my walks make-up for it! I can appreciate more stuff while walking by having the mental capacity to be more observant and enjoying the nature around me. Especially in the springtime! Friendly tip: Break the habit of making excuses that you don't have enough time. Make enough time, even if that means sacrificing an hour out with your friends or two. To execute this plan, be sure to map out three different walks, about 1 hour for each, and time-block them into your daily schedule. Schedule phone reminders and calendar reminders, just in case you're not by your desk. You scheduled walks! Now take the time to make them happen! Just because you have a race to run does not mean you don't need to get up and move!

  6. Make it non-negotiable to get at least 9 hours of sleep for the three nights leading up to the race. Let's be honest. Who sleeps well on the night before the race?! Those race nerves. Have to love 'em! Plan this out to schedule your time and notify work immediately that you have an extraordinary event that requires a TON of mental and physical energy. Or, just say you're running a Marathon! As long as you're honest, anyone will understand.

  7. Foam roll like crazy and all day, every day. You want your muscle fascia to stay limber and loose. If you're too sedentary all day, that might not happen. The last thing we need is for you to tighten up before race day. Foam roll for 15-20 minutes 2x/day during the 2-3 days leading up to the Marathon, and before that, of course. I hope you remember this at the end of your race once you're smiling while holding that finisher's medal hanging around your neck!

  8. Hello ladies! And guys too! Layout your race day gear! One of my favorite parts about race prepping that's both fun and silly is putting my fashionista race day running gear together after switching it five times first. Once you feel what feels perfect for you, your confidence will surface your readiness to run your personal best on race day!


I hope by now you have a takeaway from this post for your 2-3 days leading up to your next Marathon! It's imperative to understand this stuff so you're able to let your true fitness shine on race day. Even though you worked for it, you still have to earn it!

Take some of these tips. Allow your body to take what it needs. You should be race-day ready when you wake up the day of the race!


Let the magic happen on the course! Physically train for it. Master the mind over matter strategy, and you'll be golden!

Implementing some of the strategies I've outlined above will help you fill your time with insightful and productive tasks for the days leading up to the race!

Enjoy ridding some race nerves to stay healthy and keep yourself running happy®️ on race day!

If you would like help improving your Marathon wholistic program, schedule a consultation with us!


Until next time! Coach Alli



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