at the races Tips to Get You Ready for Spring Race Day

Tips to Get You Ready for Spring Race Day


Lowell Greib is the founder of the SportLab, which offers performance medicine to a galaxy of professional athletes, and he’s been writing a Guide for Racing Tips for iRun. This is his first instalment. Lowell also helps train middle of the pack runners and, as medical coordinator of the Toronto Marathon on May 5, he has lots of ideas on how to train smart, and train safe. Here’s part II of our our four part series on how to get you ready for spring race season.

Incorporate Cross-Training

Adding cross-training activities, such as swimming, cycling, or strength training, to your marathon training regimen offers numerous benefits for runners. Not only does cross-training help prevent overuse injuries by providing a break from the repetitive impact of running, but it also improves overall fitness, strength, and muscular balance. By diversifying your workouts, you’ll enhance your performance, reduce the risk of burnout, and keep your training routine engaging and enjoyable.

Nutrition is Key 

Fueling your body with the right nutrients is essential for supporting your marathon training and optimizing performance on race day. A balanced diet rich in carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats provides the energy and nutrients your body needs to fuel workouts, promote recovery, and sustain endurance efforts during long runs. By paying attention to your nutrition and making smart food choices, you’ll feel stronger, more energized, and better equipped to tackle the demands of marathon training.

Stay hydrated

Proper hydration is crucial for maintaining optimal performance and preventing dehydration during your marathon training. Drinking water consistently throughout the day helps replenish fluids lost through sweat and supports essential bodily functions, such as temperature regulation and nutrient transport. By staying adequately hydrated, you’ll improve your endurance, reduce the risk of cramping and fatigue, and ensure that your body is primed for peak performance on race day.

Practice nutrition during runs 

Experimenting with energy gels, sports drinks, and other fueling options during long runs allows you to fine-tune your nutrition strategy for race day success. By testing different products and timing strategies during training runs, you can determine what works best for your body and optimize your fueling plan to sustain energy levels and prevent bonking during the marathon. This practical approach ensures that you’re adequately prepared to meet your nutritional needs and perform your best when it counts.

Build a Rest Strategy 

Prioritizing rest and recovery is essential for maximizing the benefits of your marathon training and minimizing the risk of overtraining and burnout. Adequate sleep, rest days, and active recovery activities allow your body to repair and rebuild muscle tissue, replenish energy stores, and adapt to the physiological stresses of training. By listening to your body’s signals and incorporating sufficient rest into your routine, you’ll reduce the likelihood of injuries, improve performance, and ensure that you’re ready to tackle your marathon goals with confidence and vigor.

Invest in good shoes 

Choosing the right pair of running shoes is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a marathon runner. Proper footwear not only provides comfort and support but also helps prevent injuries and optimize performance. By investing in high-quality shoes that are suited to your foot type, gait mechanics, and running style, you’ll reduce the risk of common issues like blisters, shin splints, and plantar fasciitis, allowing you to train more comfortably and confidently. This smart investment in your running gear pays off in terms of improved comfort, performance, and long-term foot health.