Morning of the Marathon preparation & Timings

I absolutely loved my marathon experience that I decided it might be helpful to share our morning marathon routine. This routine worked well for us, but remember everyone is different so do what works for you on the morning of a marathon.

The Manchester Marathon started at 9:00AM, so we decided to work backwards when prepping our morning and timings. We were staying in Stockport which was about a 20 minute taxi ride away from the Old Trafford Cricket Club. Training runs work very differently to the schedule below, I usually roll out of bed, put on my running clothes, boil the kettle, pour myself a cup of coffee, drink said cup of coffee whilst scrolling Instagram, brush my teeth and GO.

5:45AM- Wakeup call for some this might be incredibly early but I am an early riser and my alarm usually goes off at 5:30AM on a week day so this time didn’t really affect me too much. If you aren’t an early riser or you don’t do well in the mornings then I would suggest doing this routine a couple of times before your marathon.

6:00AM- Breakfast & coffee, I wanted to makes sure I gave my body enough time to digest my breakfast before the race started, during my training I usually run fasted but I knew this wasn’t going to be possible for a 26.2 mile run. I needed to fuel but at the same time I didn’t want to risk getting a stitch as it was something my body wasn’t used to. I made sure I trailed and tested this before race day so I knew my body would adjust. For breakfast I opted for a big bowl of jumbo oats with blueberries and peanut butter which is my favourite breakfast so I was very happy.

I usually have a large cup of coffee prior to running on a usual training run and I never usually have to stop for the toilet.  I knew the excitement and nerves would get to me which we all know usually results in needing the toilet more frequently so I opted for strong but small coffees- espresso style. To be honest with you I am not sure how affective this was as I still needed the toilet twice before the race.

6:30AM- Shower time, I always like to have a shower on the morning of a race day as it makes me feel refreshed and ready to start the day. For my training runs I usually roll out of bed, throw on my running clothes and brush my teeth but that isn’t the case for race day. Then it was time to pin my running number to my vest eeek!

7:15AM: Taxi arrived, we decided to book the taxi for 7:15AM as we thought this would give us plenty of time to get to the start line especially, we knew there wouldn’t be any traffic that early on a Sunday morning. When we got into the taxi the driver asked us what time the race was starting and when our reply was 9:00AM he said ‘I’ll see what I can do about getting you there for then but there are lots of road closures’. As you can imagine my heart rate went through the ROOF, this is not the kind of stress I need on race day.

7:30AM- Taxi dropped us off, the taxi managed to drop us off about half a mile away from the race start line which we were happy about, we could do with some fresh air anyway to help with our nerves and excitement. This is definitely a lesson learnt through next time we will definitely check with the taxi company about road closures next time.

8:00AM- we arrived at Old Trafford Cricket Ground and went straight to the bag drop, the Manchester Marathon organisers suggested dropping your bags off prior to 8:00AM but they were not as strict as most places. At most races we have been to the bag drop off and bag collection points are at two separate locations, however at the Manchester Marathon the bag drop area did not move so there were not really any time restrictions.

8:15-8:30AM- We made our way to the pens which was about a 15 minute walk away from the bag drop by this point we had already walked about 7000 steps and we hadn’t even started the run. We made our way straight to the loos for one last comfort break before the marathon started.

9:10AM- we crossed the start line and the race was underway!