What Should I Do 3 Weeks Before a Marathon?

marathon preparation

So, you’ve been putting in the hard work, following your marathon training plan, paying attention to your marathon training diet, and logging those miles. But as the big marathon day approaches, what should you do in these final weeks leading up to the race? These last few weeks are crucial, and your marathon preparation can significantly impact your performance on the big day. Let’s break it down step by step on what you should do before a marathon to ensure you’re in tip-top shape when the starting gun goes off. 

1. Rest and Taper

This is a critical phase in your marathon training plan. You’ve put in weeks or even months of hard work, so it’s time to let your body recover and recharge. Stick to your marathon training schedule, but reduce your mileage significantly. This tapering phase allows your muscles to repair and your energy stores to build up. Resist the urge to squeeze in extra miles or intense workouts, as this can lead to fatigue on race day.

2. Training Reflection

Take a moment to reflect on your marathon training journey. Did you follow a well-structured marathon training plan? Consider how long you’ve trained for the marathon. For beginners, a typical training period is around 16-20 weeks. Ensure you’ve covered the necessary mileage and workouts prescribed in your plan.

3. Nutrition

Stick with your marathon training diet. Right now, your focus should be on carbohydrates, your primary energy source. But, be cautious not to overeat or experiment with new foods. Stick to the tried-and-true meals that your stomach knows well. Proper marathon training nutrition is vital to maintain your energy levels during the race.

4. Hydration

Stay well-hydrated in the days leading up to the marathon, but don’t overdo it. Aim for consistent water intake throughout the day. However, be mindful of excessive consumption the day before the race, which can lead to frequent bathroom breaks during the marathon.

5. Gear Check

Lay out all your race-day gear, from your trusty running shoes to your moisture-wicking socks, comfy shorts, and any extras like a hat or sunglasses. Make sure everything fits comfortably and is well-worn in. The last thing you want is a surprise discomfort on race day.

6. Mental Preparation

Your mental state is just as crucial as your physical fitness. Dedicate some time to visualise your marathon. Picture yourself confidently crossing that finish line. This positive mental rehearsal can boost your confidence and keep you focused during the race.

7. Sleep

Nerves might make it tough to sleep the night before the race, so make sure you get quality rest two nights before. Create a serene sleep environment, stick to your usual bedtime routine, and avoid stimulants that could hinder your sleep.

8. Physiotherapy

If you’ve been dealing with lingering injuries or physical concerns, consider visiting a trusted physio clinic like Be Well Physio in Dublin. Our experienced professionals can provide assessments, advice, and treatments to address any last-minute issues and ensure you’re in the best possible shape for the marathon.

9. Race-Day Plan

Familiarise yourself with the marathon route, logistics, and starting times. Plan your transportation to the starting line and your post-race activities. Having a clear race-day plan can alleviate stress and let you concentrate on your performance.

10. Relax and Enjoy

Lastly, take a moment to relax and appreciate the journey you’ve undertaken in your marathon preparation. Consider getting a pre-race massage to relax your muscles and boost circulation. It’s an excellent way to release tension and get your body ready for the marathon. You’ve dedicated yourself to training, and now it’s time to trust in that training. You’ve got this!


For expert guidance and physiotherapy in Dublin, contact Be Well Physio.

For those seeking expert guidance and physiotherapy services in Dublin, don’t hesitate to reach out to Be Well Physio. Our highly qualified and passionate team is here to support your marathon training and ensure your body is ready for the challenge. Best of luck with your marathon – you’ve prepared, and now it’s time to shine!