Last-minute marathon preparations

September 10, 2011 6:51:39 AM PDT
On Sunday, September 11, hundreds will race to the finish line during the 15th annual Chicago Half Marathon.

They have been training for months, and now it is down to the last-minute preparations for before and during the big race. To get expert tips for that, Kristin Armstrong, Runner's World contributing writer, and author of "Mile Markers -- The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run," joined us in our ABC7 studio.

For more information,

Armstrong has run eight marathons. You can meet her during a special "Shake-Out Run", an easy two- to three-mile run to "shake the nerves out," and a book-signing event on Saturday, September 10.

Shake-Out Run
Saturday, September 10
8 a.m.
Puma Store
108 N. State St.

Kristin Armstrong Book Signing
Saturday, September 10
3:30 p.m.
Puma Store
108 N. State St.

Meet the Experts:
Health and Fitness Expo
Saturday, September 10
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Navy Pier, Booth numbers 601/603

Kristin's Marathon Tips:

1. Strategy - night before the half marathon
- Relax
- Stick to a nightly ritual that is comfortable for you
- Eat fairly early; have a good mixture of simple, easily digestible carbs and protein.
- Hydrate well and avoid alcohol.
- Take a bath before bed
- Set two alarms
- Sleep at an early hour

2. Pace - during the half marathon
- Negative splits: run the second half of your race faster than the first.
- Start off conservatively

3. Food - night, morning, during
- Eat as simply and cleanly as possible: no rich or spicy foods, no questionable foods
- Night before: eat early; something simple like a grilled chicken breast and plain pasta
- Morning: get up a couple hours before start time; eat a substantial breakfast (for example, a peanut butter and banana sandwich, a bowl of oatmeal, a bagel)
- If long bus ride or stretch of time to wait at the start area: bring a bottle of water and a bar or pretzels
- During the race: get nourishment at least every 45 minutes; examples: gels, energy bar, half a sandwich, dried fruit, pretzels
- Eat something within 30 minutes of the finish line for optimal recovery

4. Attitude
- Many of us have an attitude of "I have to do this" when it comes to many things in our lives. We put so much pressure on ourselves and feel the weight of so much responsibility.
- But: we don't have to, we get to. Relax! Enjoy the run.

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