Expert Tips for the Two Oceans Marathon (and Half Marathon)

Date Published: 04 Apr 2019 Categories: News
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The “World’s Most Beautiful Marathon” is around the corner, and while most of the hard work is behind you, you may be wondering how best to prepare leading up to race day. Here are our top tips for preparing for the Two Oceans Marathon.


Preparing for the Two Oceans Marathon


2 Weeks before race day


  1. Start your taper

Prior to an endurance event such as the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon, it is very important to reduce the training load in the last 2 weeks to ensure you arrive at the start line with legs that are not tired. During this tapering period, distance should be significantly reduced, but some faster workouts should be maintained (for example the weekly time trial).


  1. Get good quality sleep

In the week leading up to your race, try to accumulate some extra sleep.

– Establish a routine

– Limit caffeine intake to the morning

– Don’t exercise or eat too late in the evenings

– Limit alcohol intake

– Avoid work and excessive screen time in the evenings.


  1. Listen to your body and know your limits.

If you do pick up an injury while preparing for the Two Oceans Marathon, don’t try to run through it, as this will inevitably worsen the prognosis. Seek expert advice so that a diagnosis can be made, and a structured management plan put in place to ensure you hit the start line as injury-free as possible.


  1. Get your mind right

Remember your mind and body are so well connected that to achieve optimally – you need to have a positive mindset. Visualization is an excellent tool for developing mental toughness. Spend 10 minutes a day mentally rehearsing your race. Replay past races where you were mentally tough and how you were victorious and practise overcoming negative self-talk and tackling self-doubt when you are battling. Also learn to focus more on the direct task you face (the position of your body; the incline or decline) and then think of how well you have trained. There will be less room for negative thoughts to enter your mind and you can remain consistently mentally strong.


  1. Nutrition

Since every runner is unique – giving general nutritional advice that will suit all -is impossible. It’s best to consult with a dietitian who is well versed in sports nutrition and who will consider your training programme, your lifestyle, what you like and dislike etc. They can also advise on pre-race, race-day and post-race recovery nutrition.

That said – there is plenty of evidence to support including protein as an aid to improve recovery after a hard training sessions- usually in a ratio of 1:4 (protein:carbohydrate).


The days before…

  • Make sure you collect your race pack from the Two Oceans Expo (Wed 17th – Fri 19th April)
  • The most important night to get good quality sleep is two nights before (Thursday night), so make it a priority.
  • Pack out everything you need on Friday afternoon – EVERYTHING! You don’t want to have to search for things on Saturday morning at 4am.
  • Be sure to eat “tried and tested” foods! The day before the event, rather steer clear of salads and vegetables as too much fibre may result in gastric upsets on the day.
  • If you end your meal with coffee or tea, go for the decaffeinated or rooibos option so that you are not kept awake due to the caffeine-load.
  • Whilst a glass of wine or a beer is fine – call it quits after that – since running with a hangover “just ain’t fun!”
  • After your Friday evening meal, try not to think about the half-marathon. Chat to family or friends, engage in a relaxing activity, such as reading, before going to sleep.
  • Set two alarm clocks to wake you up (just in case the one doesn’t work – or you don’t hear it!) You have trained so hard for the race – you don’t want to end up missing it!


On race day…

  • Get dressed – with a disposable layer on top if needed
  • Ensure you have everything you need
  • Have something light to eat about 1.5 to 2 hours before the race
  • Know where you will park
  • Aim to get to your seeding pen about 30 minutes prior to your running time


You’ve done the hard work in preparing for the Two Oceans Marathon.

All that’s left is to go get your medal and thoroughly enjoy the experience!


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