Marathon runner's survival kit: What to do before and after race day

·2-min read

With the London Marathon taking place this year on 3 October, many runners are getting well into their training regimes.

As race day looms, the good luck wishes speed into your inbox and the nerves begin to kick in, it is essential to get your head in the game and harness those pre-race anxieties.

To help propel you into performing well, Westlab, the U.K.'s salt specialists, share their ultimate running rituals to help you get off to a speedy start, beat your personal best, and recover as efficiently as a competitive athlete.

Pre-Race Day AM

In the 24 hours before the big day, fuel correctly to make sure that your mineral, vitamin, and hydration levels are all at their best. Runners will need to increase their calorie intake by 70-80 per cent the day before a race. Choose foods with a low glycaemic index such as sweet potato or oatmeal.

Pre-Race Day PM

Paula Radcliffe is known to sleep nine hours before a race, yet the night before always seems the hardest to relax. Perhaps it's the excitement, or maybe even cold feet! Prevent this by running yourself a warm, soothing bath, topped up with Magnesium Flakes to help you drift off calmly for some essential runner's rest.

Race Day AM

After a restful sleep, hop into your race day clothes and stick to your regular training morning routine. Keep positive and prepare yourself for an exciting and (hopefully) fast-paced day ahead! Keep your mind on the next visual target, run towards it and then aim for the next. Concentrate on steady breathing to maintain your pace.

Race Day PM

Your endorphin levels are buzzing, the heavy weight of the medal around your neck feels glorious and pride is glowing from your skin. Your legs, however, have had better days. Gentle stretching is essential to help elongate your leg muscles after endurance sport - you'll thank us tomorrow!

Post-Race Day

DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) affects the body most the day after a race but your post-race day recovery should also include some relaxation time as well as the standard ice baths and deep tissue massages. Finish the day by adding a 20-minute Epsom bath soak to your normal recovery routine.

"With any endurance sport there is such a focus on the correct preparation with training and nutrition that the recovery is often forgotten about until the last minute," says Penny Hamilton, Co-Founder of Westlab. "Epsom salt is an effective pure mineral compound recommended to help relax muscles and ease joints. We hope that all those racing this year will remember to prioritise recovery time with as much focus as they do their training! Good luck all!"

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