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Stay calm and watch your diet for marathon success


You can hit almost any target if you define it and see it clearly enough

You can hit almost any target if you define it and see it clearly enough

You can hit almost any target if you define it and see it clearly enough

With the marathon only weeks away, you probably have reached your target of possibly 21 or 26 miles, which will give you a great indication of what to expect on the day.

For some, the nerves and excitement of the big occasion can cause the body to develop mystery pains in the knees and back. You're nearly over-anxious, which often leads the body to releasing too much adrenaline, which - in the extreme - can cause joint and knee pain, and possibly tummy upset.

This happens to quite a lot of athletes, even those who are experienced.

To cope with this situation, try the night before to get a good sleep, rise early and prepare yourself mentally. Set your mind on your target time; even write it on your wrist. But always set realistic goals, you may not break the two-hour barrier this time, but to complete the marathon in any time is always a great achievement.


One of the mistakes that novice runners make is to overload on food during the race, particularly gels, bars, power drinks, etc. If you had been eating normal, healthy food regularly a sudden change can really upset your tummy.

The secret is to not start introducing new foods on the day, this includes liquid gels, which can have 35 grams of carbohydrate per pack, and concentrations of sugars.

A friend of mine competing in the full Iron Man had to pull out of the race due to overloading on gels. Even though his fitness level was really good, his tummy was churning. Yes you do need energy fuel, but how have you felt up until now in your training?

If you felt good, don't start complicating things. When reading magazines on running, remember there is a thing called sponsorship, where top athletes promote energy fuel, I would take some of the recommendations with caution.

If you're feeling good, eating a healthy diet and have plenty of energy, why change? This is why its important to keep a training journal: Write down your food intake, how often you're eating and what effects the food had on your training and energy, also how much sleep you got, and what was your breakfast level of carbs, proteins and fats in your daily plan. This'll help on the big day.