Running a marathon is no easy feat, it requires dedication, patience and perseverance in order to make it work on the race day. Most of the times, it’s not the missed practice sessions that cause marathoners the most anxiety, but rather the final countdown in the week leading up to the event.
With this said, the Ndakaini Marathon, one of the oldest and most grande of marathons in Kenya is happening on the 30th of September, less than 4 days to go. So how do you ensure that as someone who registered last minute – or registered long before and haven’t prepared for the marathon due to crazy work schedules -make sure that you make it to the finish line? I mean, just because you haven’t prepared, doesn’t mean you disqualify yourself from the race.
The first thing you have to consider is how far can you run. If you’ve never run for a marathon, don’t struggle to finish the race for this will totally stress your body.
However, one thing to always remember is to maintain positivity, not panic. This is the real trick to finishing a race when you’re underprepared.
With thousands of people cheering you along from the crowd and even from the marathoners as well, there is a certain kick that comes from all that support. Besides, we’re running the Ndakaini Marathon for a beautiful cause and that should make anyone want to run the marathon!
Change as little as possible from your normal routine.
When entering the final week of a marathon, one of the most effective policies is to stick to your routine.
If you normally go to bed at 10pm and wake up at 6am, do exactly that. Don’t start radically changing your schedules, diet or even work out sessions.
Don’t experiment with new foods—even if other athletes are eating them—in the week before the race. Stick with what your body is used to so you don’t get any surprises.
Routine tends to be a very important factor as it relates to sleep patterns, digestion, biorhythms and your overall performance.
Push yourself just a little bit “harder” the week of the race.
This might sound ironic from what I’ve just mentioned above, but this mean you stretch yourself out.
If you were already practicing for a 5km distance, you can go further and aim to finish 7km. If you were only doing your exercises at the comfort of your home, spice it up by adding more routines – and even weights – to push you just a little bit further. Not to your breaking point, but to train your body to expect more on the day
Stay away from enhancements
No athlete should take enhancements, that is without a doubt, I’m however talking about loading up on tons of vitamins and protein enhancements to peak your performance. It might look healthy, but excessively stocking up on vitamins, calcium and protein to help you finish the marathon will only shock your body.
On the day before the race:
Run- but not too much. You can go half the distance that you’re used to just to keep your body in check.
You can even decide to jog for about 15-30 minutes
Rest – Make sure you rest plenty the day before. When you’re not working or training, reinvest it in your sleep.
On the day of the race:
Remember your essentials; water, glucose, sunscreen etc
Vaseline is your best friend! The jelly prevents chafing and many people forget this one too many times.
Don’t wear new shoes! Wear gear that you’ve tried-and-tested or else you’ll be full of blisters before the end of the race.
Relax – you might find yourself in the presence of people who’ve been training for weeks on end. Don’t let this scare you.
Instead of letting anxiety burn up all your mental energy at the starting line causing your mental reserves to be depleted, push them aside and focus on something else – like the fact that we’re running to the dam that supplies 84% of total water supply to Nairobi residents, yes?
For more information on the race, visit
See you on Saturday!