The Los Angeles Marathon is almost here, and for the third straight year, it could be a warm race day in Southern California.
Temperatures on Sunday could once again eclipse 80 degrees at the finish line in Santa Monica. With that in mind, coach Andrew Kastor’s top tips leading into race day revolve around dealing with the temperatures.
First thing’s first: don’t be too deterred by the heat. In fact, with some extra preparation and smart racing tactics, you can still have a fast race.
Mental preparation and toughness definitely helps, but there are a few things you can do to ensure a great race.
“For those running a marathon in the 3-5 hour range, you should adjust your mile pace 10-15 seconds due to heat,” Kastor says. Start conservatively, and when the temperatures get warm, you will be able to push through it. With the heat, it is good to run a bit of a slower pace to be able to finish the race strong.
Get Off Your Feet
It might be tempting to hit up every booth at the expo, or even make a second round and try a few more protein bar samples or look at the discounted running clothes, but make sure you save your energy for race day. Kastor cautions runners on walking around too much and says, “Take one tour or one round of the expo. Stay out of the sun. Read a book. Watch TV. Take your mind off the race.” Hone in on that extra energy from the taper and save it to run your best.
Kastor advises: “Lay out your race kit the night before. Make a checklist.” Kastor even advises his elite athletes to double- and triple-check that race kits and race flats are in carry-ons.
When you are preparing for an early morning wake-up call, it’s helpful to lay out all you will need for the morning, including your race uniform, shoes, watch, and fuel. Think about what you want for breakfast ahead of time. You will be able to wake up and get ready without having to scramble.
Visualize a great race. Kastor advises to picture crossing the line with arms up. Visualization is a tactic that many professionals use and it can help anyone on race day. Mental preparation is just as important as race fuel and hydration. So, spend some time picturing a great race!
With warm temperatures this weekend, Kastor notes that hydrating frequently during the race is key, rather than drinking more at a few stops. So, if you usually take in fluids at 4 or 5 stops during your marathon, this might be a race where you need to stop at a few more aid stations. Hydrate well to beat the heat.
About The Author:
Lauren Jimison is a professional runner for ASICS Mammoth Track Club in Mammoth Lakes, Calif.