Marathon Running — Hacks & Tips

Aaron Webb
14 min readAug 15

Last weekend I completed my 7th marathon.

Alongside, 150+ endurance races, including Ironman triathlons and heaps of half marathon I have developed an arsenal of hacks.

Over the last 24 hours, the comments from friends follow the typical responses of “Oh stuff that, I’ll never be able to run a marathon”, “Are you mad”, or “How are you able to walk afterwards!”

Yes, running 42.195km is hard but I’ve learnt to apply little tricks and self-taught secrets that I thought are best shared for any aspiring runners.

Pre-race hacks

1. Relax!

Easier said than done but this is the best advice I can offer. Even if you’ve hit every training session or skipped the majority of them, the day/night before a marathon is all about chilling out.

My worst experiences and slowest times, even with a fantastic training load and high expectations were races where I was stressed and over thought things.

My best times have been when I’m simply relaxed the day before and on the start line.

After 150 races whilst waiting on the start line with 1000s of other competitors, I can generally have a good idea of who will have a good race by their expressions and body language.

Those who look super serious, get annoyed by someone bumping into them and are ready to start a fight will be seen struggling.

Last year I ran my fastest 10km in a time of 35 minutes. 12 hours earlier I was out with friends drinking wine and eating steak. My fastest Ironman of 9 hours and 35 minutes happened because I was in the hotel pool playing with friends the day before, eating ice cream and joking about coming last.

Meditate, listen to your favourite tunes, watch a comedy, talk to friends/family, and visualise the race going perfectly.

2. Carb Loading

One of the most enjoyable parts that can also help you relax.

Usually around 48 hours beforehand — If the race is on a Sunday then start stuffing your face on the Friday.

Carbohydrate loading is maximising your energy sources by increasing your carb intake to ensure your glycogen stores are topped up. The body can generally store carbs for around 48 hours before it starts converting them to fats or sending them to your bowels.

Aaron Webb

Aussie | Sponsored Triathlete | Master's Degree in Cyber Security | Founder of👋