Sport and Health Sciences at Brighton

legs running during a marathon

#BrightonMarathon: How to stay fit from training till after race day

For marathoners, keeping in shape is non-negotiable whether before, during and after race day. From what you eat to what you wear, here’s how to be ready.

The secret to a successful marathon is always in the details. It is the little changes that make the difference. In addition to the weeks of training, there are things to do the night before the race, when you get to the starting line, and things to do when you finish the race.

Dao Tunprasert

Dao Tunprasert

Under supervision of a local podiatry team, students from the University’s podiatry courses volunteer each year at the Brighton Marathon to look after runners. To help you with your marathon time goal or simply make sure you run the race with health and comfort in mind, two experts from the university, Dao Tunprasert and Libertad Rodriguez Burgos, have provided top tips to help in your moving from training programme to the big day.

Training and rest

The most important factor of all is appropriate training before the event. A marathon is a strenuous activity your feet and body are not designed to do automatically. Any long running challenge requires careful build up in the volume of training. A good training programme should be regular, build up over a suitable period and, crucially, also include rest days. Keep it in mind that rest days are as important for your marathon training as running days.

Marathon training tips before the race

Long distance running shoes

As tempting as it might be to use a new pair of shoes for a special event, it is much better to run a marathon in shoes that you have been training in. This is to avoid any unexpected issues that may come up with the new shoes. Also, remember that you should consider replacing a running shoe once its lifespan has run its course. On average, this might be when you have run between 350 to 500 miles in the shoes. The lifespan of shoes also depends on the conditions that you have run them in and the age of the shoes.

Running socks

Socks are more important than you think. They are the only barriers between your feet and the inside of the running shoes. You want the socks to provide comfort, support, and reduce friction. Where possible, it may be better to use ‘running socks’ for marathon rather than day-to-day socks that you use for work or leisure. It may take some experiments to find the right type of running socks for your feet.

During the marathon – training tips for running

Listen to your body

On the day of the marathon, good pacing is one of the keys to successfully running a healthy race. Maintaining an even pace throughout the course will help manage your energy levels. Be steady and be positive. Don’t worry about other runners passing you at the beginning. It is best to start your race slower and ease into it; you can always pick up the pace towards the second part of the course.

If you are running to set a personal best, maintain your focus and check your pace per mile or kilometre. Stick to your training strategy and make sure to maintain appropriate levels of hydration and fuelling throughout the race.

Tips for every runner after the event

Food and drinks to end the race day

Eating and drinking might be the last thing you feel like doing after crossing the finish line. However, it is important to re-hydrate yourself and get some calories in to start the recovery process. Carbohydrates, like fruit, crisps, and energy bars, are great in replenishing glycogen stores. You don’t have to eat a lot, but eating and drinking right after the race will help you stave off any feelings of sickness and/or light-headedness.

Post-event shoes and clothes

After running 26.2 miles your clothes will be probably soaked in sweat. Therefore, it is recommended that you change into clean, dry, and comfortable clothes to maintain a stable core temperature. Your feet might have also swelled and increased in size. Some runners might unfortunately develop blisters or other minor ailments that might make their feet sore. A pair of looser/wider trainers or slides will provide the necessary room for tired feet to get you home comfortably.

Professional support

If you have any of the following signs and symptoms, particularly those that are persistent even one or two weeks after the event, we strongly recommend that you seek support from professionals such as podiatrists, physiotherapists, and GP, as soon as possible. The key signs and symptoms to look out for are excessive swelling, bruising, and discomfort or pain.

Become one of the healthy runners’ support professionals

Are you a future podiatrist? Could you help runners with their foot related health and foot injuries? Find out more about our Podiatry BSc(Hons) degree in podiatry at the University of Brighton.

Our research experts in podiatry also offer supervision for a doctoral research degree in Podiatry.

Kerry Burnett • 12/03/2024

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