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Austin Sports Medicine: Race Day Tips from Medicine in Motion
Date:1/29/2013

ocations, including armpits, nipples and inner thighs.

5. Wear sunscreen. Marathoners sometimes don't think about the fact that they're in the sun long enough to get sunburned. This is particularly true if racing for four or five hours, which takes runners into the high-sun time of the day.

6. Arrive early for the race. Arriving early is beneficial for two reasons: a) it helps race officials as they have ample time to ensure runners are properly registered and b) gives competitors sufficient time to warm up. Arrive about one hour early. This will ensure a good starting position and the best place in the parking lot, so walking back to the vehicle after an exhausting race will be minimal.

7. Pin race number on shorts. That way, runners can fiddle all they want with upper-body apparel. If the temperature rises, athletes can peel off the long-sleeve shirt that kept them warm for the first three miles. If the wind kicks up, reach for the shirt that's wrapped around the waist.

8. Go for the jolt. Twenty years ago, researchers thought that caffeine helped runners burn more fat, thereby sparing precious glycogen. That theory has been mostly disproved, but caffeine does make the marathon feel easier. Feel free to drink the normal amount of coffee before the race.

9. Top off the tank. Most marathoners know enough to stay well hydrated in the days before their race. It's tough to super-hydrate, however, because the kidneys have time to release any excess water consumed. But in the final minutes to half hour before the start, the kidneys can be tricked by sneaking in a late drink. (Kidneys will mostly shut down once the hard running starts.)

10. Keep warm-ups short. It makes sense to not warm up much before a marathon. After all, saving energy is a priority. But athletes actually run more efficiently if they loosen up the leg muscles first. About forty minutes before the race, spend several minutes with the warm
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