Top Tips for a Marathon Abroad

By Bill Byrne. Posted: October 10, 2016

The New York Marathon is fast approaching. As our first big overseas race we’ll always have really fond memories of the trip. If you’re running New York, or any race abroad, you’ll face additional challenges compared to a home event. Here are our Top Tips for a great experience…

1) Check and re check your travel arrangements and race instructions. For New York or other races in the USA check that your ESTAs are up to date. Check when registration closes. For Ironman Copenhagen a few years back we realized in the nick of time our original flights would have meant missing the compulsory briefing two days before race day.

2) Think carefully about your hotel’s location. Choose somewhere with good transport to the start, be that public transport or the race shuttle buses. For some events you may even be able to get a hotel near the start/finish area. If your hotel is already booked make time to research transport options.   The last thing you want to worry about on race day morning is a complicated journey to the start.

3) Think climate. Can you do anything in your final few weeks training to help prepare for the conditions you expect on race day? In training for this year’s Ironman in Hawaii Iffley Road ambassador James Beckinsale gradually increased his time in a sauna to 30 minutes to prepare for the heat.

4) Rest up on arrival. You are tapering so, other than registration, aim to do as little as possible. Hunker down in your hotel with an inspirational running book or magazine. You can always see the sights after race day.

5) Stick to tried and tested food as much as possible, particularly your race day breakfast. We swear by porridge and always take a few sachets of “instant” in case it’s not available at our hotel. Also remember to drink plenty of water – long haul flights are notoriously dehydrating.

6) Relish the race. You’ve trained hard and probably spent a lot of money to get to the start line. Try to live in the moment and soak up the sights and sounds along the way and high five the cheering spectators. Enjoy the day – you’ve earned it!

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