Do you have your eye on the 2016 Chicago Marathon? It's a fun event, especially if you do it with friends, but you need to prepare carefully. We've got just the ideas to help you get started and stay prepared for the big day!
Choose Your Gear Carefully
It's going to be busy out there: Restrict yourself to one easy-to-carry bag — a day pack that you can strap to your back is often one of the best choices, or a gym bag that you can entrust to friends who will be at a certain point along the route. While there are some free supplies, it's best to stock up with everything that you need — that includes water and food, of course, but also a couple changes of clothes (you never know when you might need them), basic first aid materials, important medications, etc. Pack it together and get ready to go!
Check Out Registration Requirements
The Expo center usually has space devoted to the marathon where you can pick up important items like your race number and so on. Schedule some time to go here first and maybe some extra time to check out the many booths and other attractions there.
Eat and Drink Regularly
As you can probably guess, we don't mean "three times a day" here. Your body needs consistent, regular access to nutrition and water to fuel up for the marathon. The day of the event, eat regular, high-energy snacks made for running and avoid getting even a little bit dehydrated.
Save Your Energy for the Back Half
The Chicago marathon is infamous for being very, very easy for the first half. The streets are even, there's a lot of energy in the air and it's really easy to start sprinting. However, it's this first half where you have to be particularly careful to take it slower and conserve your energy because the last half is significantly more challenging. Store up your enthusiasm and remember one of the most important rules of marathons: Pace yourself.
Run With Friends Ahead of the Race
There are a couple reasons to do this. First, friends are a great encouragement and getting healthier together is an awesome goal. Second, the Chicago marathon tends to be pretty crowded, and you need the experience of running with other people to avoid accidents, tripping and other issues that may crop up if you only run solo.
Read a Guide on What to Expect
There are many different guides for runners and spectators on the route, telling you what the race passes by and what to expect. Review these beforehand so you know what you're getting into and where to go if there's ever a problem. Keep a guide map handy on your person if you've never traveled this route before.
Join a Training Program
There are plenty of training program options for getting ready for the Chicago marathon! Take advantage of some of them to help train with others and get a reliable schedule for your performance. This is often more effective than training on your own.
If you want to prepare like a professional, take a look at some of the products offered by ProLine Sports Nutrition and how they can help runners when they need energy the most.