How to Deal With 8 Common Marathon Race-Day Problems

Nip things in the bud swiftly!

I will keep these solutions from my coach Andrew Cheong of in mind incase any of these issues come up as I run the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon. By Zarelda Marie Goh

How to Deal With 8 Common Marathon Race Day Problems

Photo: Frencheschar Lim/SPH Magazines

Problem #1: Sudden need to pee

“Like they say, if you got to go, you got to go. Remember courtesy and modesty come first, so look for the nearest portaloo en route. If it’s really urgent, you can ask politely to jump the queue.”

Problem #2: Side stitch

“Slow down or even walk a bit. Relax, breathe deeply and slowly and wait for the stitch to go away. Most stitches are caused ether by too much liquid or food in the stomach or the diaphragm cramping up. Knowing what triggers your stitches will be useful to avoid them in future.”

Problem #3: Feeling thirsty

“If you feel thirsty during a run, that means you are already dehydrated. It would be ideal to drink before you feel thirsty but bear in mind not to drink too much at one go. Your body needs time to absorb the fluid, so consuming smaller amounts more frequently is the best.”

Problem #4: Tripping and falling

“Try not to trip and fall, especially at the start or along the route where it’s most crowed. But if it happens and there is no serious injury, then pick yourself up and keep going. Don't let this setback affect you. Stay calm and keep running.”

Problem #5: Headache or dizziness

“Listen to your body. A mild headache is probably manageable but if it gets worse, then slow down or even be prepared to stop. Dizziness is usually caused by heat or dehydration, which in extreme cases can be dangerous. Signal to a medic and get help.”

Problem #6: Overwhelmed by the crowd

“Stay focused on the present moment, and stay in the flow. Be confident of your training and preparation. Dont let the those running past you or the cheering crowd affect your pace. You are running your own race.”

Problem #7: Feeling fatigue halfway through

“Feeling progressively tired during a race is normal. Take comfort that it happens to everyone including the race winner. If you manage your pace well and set the correct target finish time for yourself, you should be able to keep going. It won’t be easy but you can push through and do it.”

Problem #8: Feeling fatigue when going uphill

“It is normal to feel the extra effort required to go uphill. A slight change of running form is required: Maintain a consistent mid-foot strike by leaning slightly more forward and increasing your cadence (steps per minute). Keep looking ahead and drive the knees down a bit more. Your arms will swing faster but make sure they don’t cross the body’s centre line.”

Follow the rest of Shape editor Zarelda Marie Goh's journey at

This article is brought to you by Skechers.

Related Article

You May Also Like

More Singaporeans Doing Runcations Overseas
Here’s What Happened at the First Strong Fit Squad Event
"I Worked Out With Rihanna's Trainer, Jamie Granger!"
53-Year-Old Doris Teo Has Done 30 Marathons in 6 Years
More Gyms & Studios Are Offering Stretch Classes in Singapore - Here's Why