running on bridge

With May 3 just weeks away, you’re in the home stretch of your marathon training. Over the last few months, you’ve covered many miles and are feeling pretty good about your training. Now that we’re into April, it’s time to prepare for race day and beyond.

6. Race Day

After months of training, you’ve finally arrived at The BIG Day! Today it’s important to properly fuel and hydrate your body. Stick with the same food and drinks you’ve been eating throughout training. Breakfast should be consumed at least two hours prior to the race. Plan to start hydrating when you wake up with at least 20 ounces of fluids, and finish by one hour prior to the start. If you’re a regular coffee drinker, you can have a cup or two in addition to your water or sports drink.

You also will want to warm up. Begin your warm-up 45 to 60 minutes before your start.

In order to ease any pre-race jitters and stresses, check out the resources available through the Pittsburgh Marathon website, including parking, starting line maps, and gear check procedures.

7. Post-Race Recovery

Congratulations! You completed the Dick’s Sports Goods Pittsburgh Marathon and are officially a Runner of Steel. After accomplishing such a feat, it’s natural to feel exhausted and head toward the couch. Our experts recommend the first thing you do before celebrating with friends is to keep moving. After running for hours, your body will recover faster if the muscles have a chance to cool down.

While you’re moving around, remember to hydrate. The race left your body dehydrated, and you must first replace the lost electrolytes and carbohydrates. You can do this by consuming water or a sports drink and a small snack. After a race of this length, it’s especially important to limit alcohol consumption.

In the days following, try to get outside for a short run and consider signing up for a sports massage to treat your muscles!

Good luck, runners! We can’t wait to hear how your race-day experience turns out. Remember our medical staff will be on site if you need anything.

Editor's Note: This gallery was originally published on , and was last reviewed on .