Preparing for An Out-of-Town Marathon: Quick & Easy Guide to Race-Day Ready!

Finally, race day is almost here! I've trained for the last 4 plus months, and I can't believe it's only four days away. I'm running it out of town, which is adding a little bit to my anxiousness. It's a new topography, climate, and route that I haven't trained, and just not staying at home adds a whole new set of variables.  While the weather and course changes are completely out of my control, I can come prepared, and make my hotel room as comfortable and home-like as possible to get myself feeling race day ready. When it comes to packing, I'm the type that starts making notes in my phone on what to bring at least a week in advance, and packing is normally a simple process for me. Preparing for my marathon this weekend in Nashville has been no different. Here's what I've done this week to get myself race day ready! They are simple and easy steps that you can do each day in the week leading up to the race to make yourself feel prepared and at home in your out-of-town marathon. 


One week out: 

If you're following a traditional training plan, the week before the race is your last semi-long taper run. On this day, I recommend two things to get yourself race day ready: 

1. Check the weather for the race the next week. While it will likely change slightly, the temperature is not going to drastically fluctuate. Wear what you plan on wearing from top to bottom, and give this outfit a "dry-run."

2. Use an energy gel / chew that you're not going to use on race day, making it more "special" during the race.  Little mental things like this really helps during these super long runs. 


6 days before: 

Check that energy gel stash. Do you have 3-4 gels that you love? If not, run out today to your local running shop and pick some up.  Amazon also has a bunch you can order if you're out of town, but make sure to do this well in advance!


5 days til the race: 

Pack your bag... seriously this soon. Do all your laundry and make sure that you have your race day clothes ready. Get your favorite sleep clothes and pack those.  If you plan to do things after your race, be smart on what shoes you pack. If you're like me, you are not going to want to wear a heel at any point this weekend. 


4 days out: 

Start supplementing your water with electrolytes. This may require a run to the gas station or grocery store.  You're going to need at least 2 pedialytes, one for before, and one for after the race, but grab yourself a couple of gatorades to drink over the next couple of days as well. 


3 days before: 

How is your playlist? Make sure that you have curated your perfect one, and it doesn't include songs that you have "run" to the ground. One of my favorite things to do is to run to the Hamilton soundtrack. It has a good beat, it's interesting and about two hours long, and it takes your mind off of running for a little while.  


2 days until the race: 

Think back to the dinners you had before your long runs. Was there anything that bothered you that you should specifically avoid? Do some research on local restaurants and pick a few that will have some good options for your pre-race dinner. Make reservations where you can. It's also good to think about brunch after your race and choose some options that will be great for re-fueling. 


the day before:

Grocery time! You probably have to get to the race at an ungodly hour.. so the morning of is not a good time to figure out what you're going to eat. As a pre-run oatmeal fan, staying in a hotel actually stresses me out a bit because there is no microwave.  Pick up a bagel, banana, and pack of almond butter, like Justin's and pack them in your carry-on for an easy pre-race meal. Also make sure that you have packed your supplements with you. I'm a pre-run coffee drinker, so I picked up a dairy-free refrigerated iced coffee as well to have in the morning.