Pre-Marathon Sleep Preparation
It’s that time of year again where the mornings are lighter and the days are longer. The Virgin Money London Marathon 2016 takes place this upcoming Sunday, with thousands of runners looking to smash their personal goals and raise millions for great charities across the UK.
Whether you’re an elite athlete or a fun runner, 26.2 miles is a long distance, and pre-marathon nerves are to be expected. However, experienced athletes will tell you that there are procedures built into their pre-marathon preparation which allows them to wake up as fresh as possible on the big day.
We’ve put together a small list of tips to help you on your way. Good luck!
Eat Correctly on the Eve of the Marathon
If you’ve been training for months, don’t allow yourself to ruin your preparation by eating too much the evening before the race. Many runners will carb-load, and if this is your preferred method of preparation, be sure to eat your meal a few hours before bedtime and don’t eat a larger portion than usual. Avoid foods such as curries which might come back to haunt you the following day. Foods like bananas and turkey can act as powerful relaxants.
Check the Room Temperature
Whether you’re staying at a hotel or at home, make sure that the room temperature is correct. We recommend you fix the temperature between 16°C-18°C, and also be sure to use light bedding with a low tog rating. We’re now into Spring and the weather of late has been warm, remember that numerous light layers are much better than a single heavy duvet.
It’s normal to feel pre-marathon nerves, however, try not to let them ruin all of your preparation. A warm bath is a great way to relax the body the night before the run. Ensure that the lights in the bedroom are dim, and avoid using bright screens such as mobile phones and laptops.
Prepare in Advance
Don’t spend the morning of the marathon running around the house trying to find everything you need. Pack your bag in advance and ensure you have a checklist of everything you need. Double check the weather closer to the event. We’ve experienced warm weather of late, however, some sources are warning of deteriorating conditions. This preparation will save you the stress on the morning of the marathon and may earn you some extra minutes asleep.
Have an Early Night
When all is said and done, if you don’t get the recommended 8 hours of sleep a night then all of your hard work will be undone. Avoid caffeine as well as other stimulants such as chocolate, in the run-up to bedtime. Gentle stretches, yoga, or meditation can be calming.