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How to Train the Day Before a Half Marathon

You've been dedicated to your training and nutrition for the last 12 weeks, and race day has finally arrived. But you may be worried about how to train the day before the half-marathon. Trust that your training has prepared you mentally and physically for the next day's challenges, and focus on finishing your preparation while enjoying the atmosphere and excitement that surrounds the race.

Run for about 20 to 30 minutes at an easy pace. The goal of the run is to increase your heart rate and warm up the muscles. Focus on staying relaxed with proper running form. Don't do any interval training or any high-intensity exercise.

Don't strength train and stay off your feet as much as possible. Any strength training won't improve your marathon performance at this point. The goal is to recover and be 100 percent on race day.

Perform flexibility exercises and stretches at least one time during the day. This helps promote blood flow through your muscles and keeps the muscles loose.

Drink water throughout the day along with sports drinks to replenish electrolytes. Avoid alcoholic drinks that can cause dehydration.

Load your daily calories, starting three to four days before the event, with 70 percent complex carbohydrates and 20 to 30 percent lean proteins. The day before the race, enjoy your big carb-loading meal in the middle of the day, incorporating a variety of whole grains, pasta, starchy vegetables and fruits. Have a light dinner that night.

Attend the race expo and pick up your race packet. The expo is a time to relax, have fun and meet other runners and industry professionals while sampling new products.

Organize your race day gear and equipment before getting a good night's rest. Proper preparation is essential for a smooth morning on race day.


Carry and snack on granola, bananas and dried fruits as energy sources while working out and on the day of the half marathon.


Avoid eating new or different foods that could potentially upset your stomach before the race.

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About the Author

Based in Nebraska, Jeremy Hoefs began writing fitness, nutrition, outdoor and hunting articles in 2006. His articles have been published in "Star City Sports," "Hunting Fitness Magazine" and RutWear field journals, as well as on the Western Whitetail website. Hoefs graduated with a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from Nebraska Wesleyan University.

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