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.
Eat a decent breakfast.
"On the day of, be sure to get up three hours before the race, and get in a decent breakfast," says Nick Stanko, a distance coach at Virginia-based Peaks Coaching Group. It should be something that you know is easy to digest, with both carbs and protein. A bagel and peanut butter is Stanko's food of choice, but if you're nervous and feeling a little queasy, a high-calorie smoothie or sizable sports bar like ProBars Oatmeal Raisin Meal will do. Just be sure to eat something!
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