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Stick to routine

"Prepare a marathon race plan and stick to it on race day. Don't try anything new. Wear clothes and shoes you're comfortable with, and stick to your appropriate race pace."

- Curb Ivanic, running coach and founder of

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"Pre-race preparation is most important, especially the night before a marathon. You may find yourself in a new city away from your normal schedule. Stick to your routine."

- Alison Turcotte, race director of the 2011 Mississauga Marathon

"Try everything on the night before, including the pinning of your bib number. That way in the morning you are ready. On Saturday, stop and do nothing from 3 p.m. on."

- Kathryn Garrett, runner and race volunteer.

Be good to your body

"The most important night's sleep is two nights before race day. Get a good sleep on the Friday night and you won't need to worry if nervousness keeps you awake the night before the race."

- Bruce Deacon, online coach for the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon.

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"Don't ignore pain signals. It's your body's way of telling you that something needs to be changed going forward."

- Don Fink, author of Mastering the Marathon.

"Don't spend too much time on your feet the day before the marathon. Follow the credo of professional bike racers: Don't stand when you can lean, don't lean when you can sit, don't sit when you can lie down. You'll get a lot of looks lying on the floor at race expo, but you'll be better off for it."

- David Panieau, marathon clinic instructor.

Fuel right

"Start drinking and taking in carbohydrates early on in the marathon. Do not wait until you're thirsty or until you have low energy, because then you'll already have compromised performance."

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- Reid Coolsaet, elite runner.

"Your recovery meal after running is the most important meal of the day. If you're recovery nutrition intake is adequate you can bounce back quickly and boost your strength and endurance over time. Be sure to drink adequate fluids and eat a source of carbohydrates within 15 minutes post workout and then be sure to have a full meal within two hours that includes a good source of protein.'

- Andrea Holwegner, dietician.

"Carb up. Prior to any race don't forget that all important carb loading. It will be a long day and you will need plenty of energy to carry you throughout your run."

- Enzo Vettese, runner.

"On race day, do not try any new foods or drinks. It could spoil your whole race."

- Monika Kriedemann, runner.

Win the mental game

"Think of a good memory - a loved one, a friend, an experience that made you laugh so hard you could cry -and store that thought. If you go through a rough spot, and you likely will, pull back that memory.'

- Dan Ouimet, Chair of the Calgary Marathon Society.

"Don't freak out. It's normal to be nervous. But if you get too worked up, you might get so frazzled that you forget some key piece of gear, like your timing chip or your shorts!"

- Michal Kapral, editor of Canadian Running Magazine.

"Approach the race with a mental attitude of confidence and curiosity. Prepare and use self-statements like, 'I've trained for this race as well as I could' and "What can I learn today?' "

- Dr. Kate Hays, sports psychologist.


"If you're having a bad day, break the race up into kilometres. Don't think you have 42 km to go. Break the race down in to small increments. If I'm having trouble, I break the race down into two mile increments."

- Rick Rayman, runner.

"Run the first 5 km 10 to 15 seconds per km slower than your main goal pace, then settle into your main race pace and finish strong."

- Lara Penno, personal trainer and running coach.

"The first third should be easy, the middle will feel like your long runs and the final third will remind you why they give all finishers a medal."

- John Stanton, founder of The Running Room.

"Always have a time plan, something specific, and then implement plan B if necessary. Stick to the plan, regardless of how good you feel in the first half."

- Duff McLaren, veteran pace bunny.

Love it

"Enjoy every moment of your run. This is it. All your dedication and commitment is about to pay off. You will never ever forget that moment you cross the finish line."

- Wanda Bergshoeff, runner.

"Enjoy the moment. Admit you are not going to win. Talk to the people with you, as that proves you are not over-exerted. Do the best you can, and if it is a first race the time will be your personal best."

- Ken O'Brien, runner and race volunteer.

"Run happy."

- Jay Glassman, race director of the Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon.

"Enjoy it all. Sunday is the victory lap!"

- Alan Brookes, director of the Canada Running Series.

These tips have been condensed and edited.

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