As a follow up to the post on how to train for a marathon, given I just finished the Chicago Marathon on Sunday October 7th(time 3 hours 33 mins, 41 secs) thought it an opportune time to follow up with race day and pre-race day tips for African-Americans.

#1 Sleep. The week leading up to your endurance event, get plenty of sleep. It really makes a difference when you have to dig deep. And you will.

#2 Hydrate. Drink plenty of water and ideally something with electrolytes, sodium and potassium, which you will lose during an extreme exercise/endurance event.

#3 Nothing New. Wear the same beat up stuff. Now is not the time to look cute; functionality is much more important! I broke my own rule because the temperature dropped 40 degrees overnight and had to scramble and buy new stuff at the Marathon Expo. But for my undertop and for my bottoms I wore tried and true items I had trained or raced in. Eat the same stuff you’ve been eating. Nothing new. Seriously. You will most likely regret it.


#4 Prep the Night Before.  Don’t leave it until the morning of to scramble to put your tags on your shoes and your race bib. Pack your race bag the night before. You will be excited and out of sorts in the morning and bound to forget something. I broke my own rule here too and ended up leaving my race glasses at home. My sister had our race bags and I didn’t get mine from her the night before. Even though I had my stuff laid out, in my haste in the morning, I left my race glasses on the desk. And I need my race glasses man. I want to look cool! Seriously I was squinting throughout the race because of the wind and sun.

#5 Eat 2 Hours Before Your Race. You need time for the food to digest and not be sloshing around in your stomach. You need the food digested and ready to be used for energy and you don’t want to cramp.

#6 Don’t Rush. Get up early. Leave yourself enough time to get to the start comfortably. You’ll be racing during the race. You don’t need to race getting to the race, getting all hopped up and nervous, expending energy you will need later.

#7 Run Your Own Race. With any endurance sport, especially a marathon, you must run your own race. Even if you have trained with people at the end of the day, it’s your race, your body, your own internal dialogue with yourself.  You must listen and be in tune with yourself at all times. Know when to hit it and know when to chill.

#8 Have Fun! Endurance racing is a life changing event. You go into it one way and come out the other side a changed person. Because you will have challenged yourself beyond your current self-perception of what you can do, you will feel differently about yourself when finish. You will have changed. And THAT’s MAD COOL!

Click here for more on Jennifer Turner’s Chicago Marathon Adventure.

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By day, Jennifer Turner is a high-powered media executive.  By night, Ms. Turner is a self-proclaimed, “Fitness Activator.”  This is to say that her life’s mission is to empower others to “activate” their innate ability to have a healthy lifestyle and achieve happiness.

Visit to learn more about Jennifer and follow her team of fitness enthusiasts at Mad Cool Fitness.