The M&T Bank Vermont City Marathon is literally days away and by now the excitement (and anxiety) finally getting to the starting line is peaking. I want to leave you with a few random thoughts to bear in mind as you finish your taper and getting ready for marathon day:

Do: Try to get as much rest as you can and put aside physical chores and tasks which can wait until after the race.

Do Not: Introduce anything new into any part of your training; if you haven’t tested it, worn it, or consumed it on any of your training run, then marathon day is DEFINITELY not the day to experiment.

Do: Keep the same routing for marathon day as you have for the days of your long runs. If you are used to having coffee and/or something to eat before your long runs, then keep the same thing going for the marathon. Be sure that you are up early enough to allow your digestive system to do its thing.

Do Not: Overeat the day before the marathon. Carbo loading is a process and cannot be magically done by consuming your weight in pasta the night before. Consuming carbohydrates throughout these final days is more practical.

Do: Dress appropriately for race day. By this, I mean if the weather starts off on the cool side (let’s hope) bring something to wear which you can toss away if the temperature goes up. Be willing to part with these items.

Do Not:  Wear a new pair of shoes on race day if you haven’t tried them out on a prior long run. Even if the shoes are the same model, there can be subtle differences in the fit which can sabotage your efforts. Stick with the pair that got you this far, as long as they are still providing the necessary cushioning and support.

Do: Run the same pace as you have on your long runs. Resist the temptation to go out at a faster clip than you trained for. You may feel great for the first few miles, but doing so will come back to bite you in a serious way later in the run when you are starting to bonk.

Do Not: Let the weather get in the way of your goal. As we all hope for a cool day, I have spoken to you about the capriciousness of Vermont weather. If the day is hot, then slow down – even walk if necessary, and stay hydrated. Following these tips give you a greater chance of finishing on a warm day.

There are plenty of other things we could cover, but I think you are getting my message: stay constant, stay consistent and visualize yourselves crossing the finish line!

Follow these this Do and Do Not list and you will end up with one of these draped around your neck!