Usually, race day results reflect the quality and quantity of training. But in the case of the marathon – that 26.2-mile bucket list feat – little things on race day can make all the difference. Whether it's too much Gatorade causing cramps, a new shirt chafing so much that it draws blood, or a pasta primavera that's still sitting with you at mile 13, little mistakes are exaggerated in such a long race – and they can ruin everything. To get it right on race day, follow this tried-and-true advice.
Don't change your shoes before race day.
First things first: Going into the race, don't change your shoes. A month or so out, you should have the shoes you'll wear in the race – and if you've put more than 300 miles on them by that point, then buy another of the exact make and model. "During your initial training, it's great to have two different pairs of shoes – brands and models – to stress your feet differently," says Stanko. But when it comes to race day, you should know the pair you're running in well. A blister will end your race.
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