The Asics LA Marathon is just around the corner, and if you're signed up, you're getting excited! There are less than 250 spots left, so if you're not signed up, you'd better do it very soon. The stadium to the sea course is a favorite among the distance running set in Southern California and beyond. Here are a few tips to get ready for race day:
- Don't overdo it in these last couple weeks. This period is called the "taper" and you should be noticeably downshifting from what you've been doing. Marathon running is not like cramming for a test in college - too much mileage now will harm your performance on race day.
- Get used to the nutrition (CLIF Shot Energy Gels between miles 20 and 21).
- Drink every odd-numbered mile starting at mile 3 available on course (it's Ultima Replenisher Red Raspberry).
- Familiarize yourself with the course. Water will be provided at 25 locations along the course (approximately at each mile) and electrolyte at 12 stations (every odd mile starting at mile 3). There's a short uphill section coming right out of Dodger Stadium, so plan on your first mile being a little slow, and another hill between miles 4 and 5. The course is fairly flat for the most part, though, and has a net drop in elevation from start to finish. The last three miles are a nice descent to the finish.
- Start thinking about your gear check bag and what you're going to wear. It's a point-to-point race, after all, so things like your car keys and cell phone you might want to put those in a gear check bag to be picked up at the finish line. It can be cold on race day, so consider picking up some sweatpants and sweatshirt at a thrift store that you can wear right up until you hear the start gun. Be sure to throw these clothes well to the side, so the runners behind you don't trip over them.
- Sign up for tracking when it becomes available March 13. This will enable you to have your friends and family get text messages stating the elapsed time and your pace at miles 6, 12, 18, 24, and your unofficial finishing time.
- Reserve your parking. The VIP parking in Santa Monica will sell out any day now. Most people drive to Santa Monica, drop their car, and take the shuttle to the start at Dodger Stadium, but if you haven't gotten parking reservations, yet, do it now.
- Get your cheering squad ready! There are a lot of people that go to the finish line in Santa Monica to see their runners, and Santa Monica is set up well to handle all the crowds. There are plenty of spots to see the race, though, and many runners will be needing the extra support in miles 20-24.
So, if you're racing, good luck! If you want to race, but haven't signed up, yet - get on it! Be sure to drink plenty of fluids during the race, even if it's cold, and have fun!