Runner Therapy

Runner Therapy: Be Prepared, NYC Marathon Checklist

checklistThe NYC Marathon is now in full view! Check out my list of things to prepare for now!

1. ONE well-rested athlete. Spend the rest of this week and Saturday resting. Even if you are not asleep, just being in a place of comfort, especially laying down is best, even if its just watching movies. Go to bed earlier than usual.

2. ONE hydrated athlete. This doesn’t just mean liquids, this means electrolytes. It wont be a warm race so the chances of dehydration are extremely low. The chances of electrolyte ‘dehydration’ are higher. Lots of salt, potassium, calcium over the next few days. These substances are responsible for muscular contraction. Without adequate supply you will hit the proverbial “WALL”!

3. ONE race day plan. It doesn’t have to be one that makes you anxious. I’m not a planner, but you need the basics to stick to and also be able to have more fun. Have a goal pace set up for the beginning, middle and body willing, the 20 mile mark! Start out slow. Slower than you think. Have a plan for your nutrition, where you will get it (carry or bring on the course) and what you will eat the morning of, while waiting in Staten Island, etc.

4. TWO feet and a body ready to run. NO new shoes you bought in the last 3 weeks, same socks you are used to wearing. Clothes you have tested out on a long run in the past

5. ONE blanket, ONE warn outfit, ONE hat, TWO gloves. The stay on Staten Island is no luxury hotel. You will be roughing it…and it will be colder than you think. A sweatshirt/pants is NOT enough. Especially if you plan to sit on the cold ground. Believe me. Been there.
If you buy some old sweatpants, put a slit in the bottom so you can take them off at the start line without taking your sneaks off. Everything goes to charity so don’t feel bad about a $10 fleece blanket purchased at a dollar store. You will be happy you had it.

6. TWO to FOUR extra strength Tylenol just in case! Remember no Advil, Alleve, Motrin on race day. Not good for the kidneys! They will have tylenol at medical stations but this will be an unnecessary stop if you are prepared.
7. TWO spectator plans. If you have any spectators coming, make sure to tell them exactly where to meet you. Telling them “60th and 1st” is not good enough! Specify the exact corner and know what they will be wearing. A bright colored shirt or hat on your spectator will help…remember you will see them before they can see you! Also have an exact meeting point at the end, whether at family reunion or otherwise. Have a SECOND alternate plan B in case your day is longer than you expect.

8. THREE TO FOUR salt packets. Salt will be your best friend if you start to fade. Plan to have it on you. Put it in a baggie with the Tylenol so neither get sweaty!

9. ONE HEAPING dose of patience. Its a long day. From hanging out in Staten Island to getting around slow runners, to the funneling of tired bodies at the end. Losing your patience will make your day longer.

10. ONE good attitude. If I can stress anything, its this. A nervous attitude should be minimized. This is supposed to be fun, not a job interview. Relax. You will use extra energy stressing!  Be sure to look to your left on the bridge to see lower Manhattan, its a view you will never see outside a car! This race is so much fun, try to take it all in and enjoy the day. After all, its just another long run!

 What strategy do you implement leading up to marathon day? Anything we are missing on this list? What is most important to be prepared for?

- Marisa

(Marisa, a MS PT SCS ATC, is a member of  iRunnerBlog’s team and writes the Runner Therapy column, she is a physical therapist in private practice in midtown NYC called Dash Physical Therapy.  She one of only a dozen or so physical therapists  in the state of NY to be board certified in sports.)

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