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Home >> Blog >> Axel >> Axel's Top 10 Race Day Essentials

Axel's Top 10 Race Day Essentials

  • Ultra Marathon
  • Half Marathon

Discover the secret behind having a great #OMTOM from start to finish. These 10 tips are brought to you by Axel Rittershaus, 8 x OMTOM Finisher and 6h bus driver in 2012. Follow him on twitter http://twitter.com/ultramarathonma or read his blog http://www.ultra-marathon-man.com/en.

  1. Get to the start in time. Waking up 15 minutes earlier to get to the start without being stressed will save you valuable energy - because mental stress has a similar effect to running a couple of 100m sprints. 
  2. Write a positive (!) mantra on your forearm, like „Keep on moving“, “You will make it“ or „Smile“. Whenever you struggle, look at it. And if you don’t want to write it down, recall it in your mind during the race.
  3. Stick to what you tried and tested during your training runs. Do NOT run in brand new shoes or change your breakfast habit just because a gold medal runner told you what he or she eats in the morning. Race day is not a rehearsal. 
  4. Take salt every 1 - 2 hours, especially on a hot day. You are losing a lot of electrolytes and both your running performance and your mental state suffer from it. Many refreshment stations provide salt for you, so take a little bit of it. Or take your own salt tablets with you.   
  5. Do not litter, so please throw your empty sachets, etc. into the bins provided. It won’t cost you any second, but it will keep the nature in balance, so the race can remain the most beautiful marathon in the world - or would you rather run through a field of trash?
  6. Visualise how you run across the grass field towards the finish, how you receive your medal, how you brag at home with your war stories. Visualising is the most common strategy top athletes use to prepare for a top performance and how they get through difficult times during races. It keeps your mind from telling you negative stories.
  7. Say thank you to the marshals and the helpers at the refreshment stations. They got up as early as you and we could not run this race without them. 
  8. Encourage other runners, no matter how hard it might be.
  9. Smile. No matter what, but smile. It improves your mental state and and encourages the people around you. And if you are happy anyway you should infect the people around you with your happiness. 
  10. Be grateful for being able to run. To quote Mr. Worldwide Pitpull: „Every day above ground is a good day“ - especially if you can run the most beautiful marathon in the world. I personally always remind myself of a cancer patient going through chemo therapy - and I forget my suffering immediately.
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