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

-up program. Spend time going through a range of stretches, focusing on a number of muscles that are used when running, including: Achilles tendon, calf muscles, hamstrings, quadriceps, lower back, shoulders and neck.

11. Run at an even pace. This is possibly the oldest and most important of marathon strategies. Laboratory data and experiences of countless marathoners show that even-pace running is the optimal approach. Runners may feel they’re moving too slow for the first several miles, but they’ll feel giddy when going strong and passing other runners in the later portion of the race.

12. Fix it sooner, not later. Maybe that shoelace begins to come untied. Or perhaps chaffing is starting that one particular spot. Or a pebble has taken up residence in the left shoe. These things don't go away on their own. The sooner they’re dealt with, the better runners will fair over the distance.

13. Drink early (and late). When aiming for a fast marathon time, every ounce of fluid consumed helps maintain the blood flow to skin (for cooling) and to the heart and muscles. Since running hard slows the absorption of fluids from the stomach, runners need to begin drinking early to have the fluids become available later. If runners expect to run four hours or slower, be careful not to over-drink and develop hyponatremia. Drink when thirsty, and stop drinking if the stomach becomes uncomfortably full of fluids.

14. Use some gel. Sports drinks contain carbohydrates and other good stuff, but gels provide a more concentrated source of carbs that can prove especially helpful in the last half of the marathon. Some experts recommend carrying four gel packs, and taking them at miles 10, 14, 18, and 22 during a full marathon.

15. Draft off someone. The drafting effect isn't as strong in running as in cycling, but it's still there. Tucking in behind someone during a long race is considered a more efficient running style by many. Just be
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