Marathon Morning


Got a question about running? You’re in the right place. Every Tuesday, world-renowned coach, author and athlete Hal Higdon posts and answers athlete questions here. You can submit your question by joining the discussions on Hal Higdon’s Virtual Training Bulletin Boards.


I read about how important it is to get the fuel needed on race day before heading to the starting line. Most marathons start early, often at 6:00 a.m. If I am to drink plenty of fluids as recommended, as well as eat something sensible, plus get ready, plus get to the start 45 minutes early, I would have to wake up at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning to do all that. Yet I can’t fuel just before the race, because I would then have to stop for the bathroom during my race. I would love to hear how to accomplish all this without having to get up so early.


Nobody sleeps that well the night before the marathon anyway. Night before the night before is most important. Before a 6:00 race, get up at 3:00 (no big deal), grab a few carbs (which you can do in your room), then back to sleep, up again at 4:30 to prepare to race- -but no more drinking after that until just before you cross the starting line. For maximum performance, you need to determine the routine that works best for you. This routine always worked best for me, and I didn’t lose too much sleep because I went to bed early.

About the Author

Hal Higdon

Hal Higdon is a Contributing Editor for'Runner's World'and author of 34 books, including the best-selling'Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide. He ran eight times in the Olympic Trials and won four world masters championships. Higdon estimates that more than a quarter million runners have finished marathons using his training programs, and he also offers additional interactive programs at all distances through TrainingPeaks.Hal uses'TrainingPeaks'to power his interactive marathon and half marathon training plans.'Check out more of Hal Higdon's training plans here'or on'his website.

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