Make sure you are race-ready to tackle the tough 42.195km distance at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon.
Here are 10 top pre-race tips to help ensure you go out and run your best race on Friday.
1) THE GOLDEN RULE – STICK TO YOUR PLANS
Don’t make any sudden, drastic or different changes to your training plan, diet or running regime the day before and on race day itself. Stick to what you’ve been working on and what you know.
2) PREPARE YOUR KIT, INCLUDING RACE BIB
By now you will have your race number and timing chip. Make sure you attach that to the top you will run the marathon in the night before. It sounds like a basic piece of advice, but you don’t want to be rushing around in the morning trying to put everything together.
The same goes for the rest of your kit – it will make you sleep easier knowing that everything is prepared. Avoid cotton t-shirts and go for coolmax/nylon wear that will adsorb the sweat. It will feel cold at the 7am startline but the UAE heat will soon kick in.
3) DON’T TRY DIFFERENT TRAINERS ON RACE DAY
Ensure you are running in footwear you know and have tested (ran in) for race day. Don’t be tempted to wear brand-new shoes just to look the part, go with the footwear that has been there for you every step of the way throughout your training programme!
4) CARB LOADING
By eating foods such as oatmeal, yogurt, whole fruit, pasta, potatoes, bread and rice you can boost your glycogen (glucose) stores inside your body. This will help you to replenish energy levels quicker than normal and dip into your reserves when you need it most – probably during the tough moments towards the end of the marathon (last 10km).
Eat carbohydrate-rich foods on Thursday before the race but not too late, as you want to give your body time to digest the food.
As for your breakfast on race day, no need to carb-load as such, but try and eat a very light breakfast.
5) KEEP HYDRATED
Make sure you have drunk plenty of water in the lead-up to the race and it’s very important to stay hydrated throughout the run, taking advantage of all the water stops and topping yourself up with sports drinks and energy gels, too.
6) FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH THE ROUTE
The majority of Dubai marathoners have probably ran part of the route on a training run and it’s helpful to know landmarks along the way, helping you to build mini targets. Visualization and having a sense of the details of the course map can often give you a bit of a mental boost.
7) CHILL OUT
It’s sometimes hard to a get a good night’s sleep ahead of the marathon because of a mixture of nerves, excitement and the body’s unwillingness to completely switch off. But, if you can, just chill out on Thursday night, do nothing, set your alarm and get an early night.
8) WARM UP
Whether that’s a thorough stretching routine, a light jog or both, it’s vital you get the blood flowing and your muscles are ready to go on Friday. Loosen up, work up a bit of a sweat and don’t feel cold, especially when you’re waiting nervously on the start line.
9) SET TWO GOALS
Have a goal/time in mind that you are aiming for and another as a back-up plan, just in case the race doesn’t go exactly to script.
Unfortunately, marathon running is a rare sport in which you can do all the best preparation but it is very much an ‘on the day event’.
At this stage, all the preparation is done so just go out there, enjoy the experience and give it your best shot.
10) RUN AT YOUR PACE
Adrenaline always kicks in at the start and it’s a good thing if you feel a few butterflies. Don’t worry about what other people are doing, stick to your pace and plan. It’s proven that it’s better to have negative splits and run the first half of a marathon slower than the second, leaving you more in the tank at the end.
— Sport360° (@Sport360) January 16, 2018
This week’s Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon could see some records being broken, especially after slight changes to the route for Friday’s event.
Last year’s men’s champion Tamirat Tola set a new course record of 2h:04m:11s, and said he should have brought the record below the 2:04 mark. This year’s course features two loops of the famous Jumeirah Beach Road, which may give him the chance to break the record.
The elite runners will start at 6AM this year at Umm Suqeim Road, as usual, with the mass marathon set to keep its traditional 7AM start time – all but one of the previous 18 editions have started at 7.
From there Tola, defending women’s champion Worknesh Degefa and the rest of the world-class field will head back towards Madinat Jumeirah and on to the Jumeirah Beach Road for the first of two loops that will see them head up the Beach Road on the left carriageway before making a U-turn at Al Mehemal junction just before the bridge over the Creek.
— Sport360° (@Sport360) January 16, 2018
“The route gives the elites a fast and flat route that helps them towards their goals of personal bests and course records,” said Peter Connerton, the event director. “The double loop also means the runners will not be stretched all the way down the Beach Road, which will appeal to those spectators who want to come out in the early morning and see the best long-distance runners in the world.”
The 10km race will start at 9:00am and the 4km run at 11:00am – both of these races use King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street and finish on Umm Suqeim Street as the marathon is ongoing.
Asked to brave a 6:30am start and over 42km of course, more than 2,000 runners turned out to take on this year's Dubai Marathon.
The 10km race was even more popular, with over 18,000 people having signed up and runners flocking to the start around 9am.
Taking in the Burj Al Arab and moving up and down Beach Road, the Dubai Marathon has become a favourite among tourists and residents alike.
And we were there to take in all the action and catch up with some of the runners taking part.
Did you take part in either the marathon or 10km this past Friday?