Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is Here! Last Minute Tips to Run Your Best!

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20The moment you have been training for is almost here. You’ve laughed, you might have cried, you have endured and persevered and it’s all about to pay off. The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend festivities have begun and for the thousands of people descending on Walt Disney World for this fun-filled and for some, anxiety-filled weekend, it’s going to be a wild ride.

Here are a collection of tips from me to you for how to run your best, have the best time and be the most prepared for the 5k, 10k, half marathon or full marathon.

22Slightly increase Your Salt Intake Leading up to Race Day

Your body loses electrolytes when you sweat. Running, especially in humid Orlando means lots of sweat. Salt is one of five electrolytes that allow the body to stay hydrated. Don’t go crazy with your salt intake but adding a little extra to your diet leading up to the big day is crucial for heading off cramps, swollen digits and swollen legs throughout the race and after the race.

23Avoid Fatty Foods 48 Hours Prior to Race Day

Focus on proteins and carbs 48 to 72 hours before race day. It isn’t just about the day before your race, some of the most important time is 48 hours prior to race day. Eating foods high in fat and low in nutrients can result in poor performance, sluggishness and fatty foods take more time for your body to digest and can just “sit” in your stomach resulting in discomfort.

24Try on All of Your Race Gear Prior to Your Race

New leggings? New Socks? New Bra? Don’t go into race day without testing out your shiny new gear. I never go into a race without running in my race gear at least one, preferably twice. You do not want to be halfway through your race to realize that you can’t keep your pants up or that your new socks rub weird or your new bra chafes. BE game day ready and give all your race gear a test run.

Early Pacing Matters

The start of a race is full of adrenaline and excitement which can mean that you start off too fast and burn out too soon. Pacing, especially for half marathons and full marathons matter from the start. Don’t get caught up in the adrenaline and go out too hot, you will need those energy stores later in the race and getting a faster start won’t help those later splits.

25.jpgTake the Picture

This is a personal tip from me completely based off of my own opinion and experience. The 2019 Princess half was my first Disney race but my 14th half marathon. A Disney race is a completely different experience than your neighborhood race or a local race. There is so much to see and experience. You paid a lot of money to do this race, far more than any other race I had ever participated in. You are paying for those experiences along the way, whether you take advantage of them or not.

26There are some unique characters and fun photo ops that you will only ever get to experience as a participant in a RunDisney race. Things that regular guests will never have the chance to do. I was pumped for my half, I was going along at a great clip, I was ahead of pace but feeling great and calm and prepared and then I looked up and there was the Magic Kingdom sign above the pay station. I was running on a road that is reserved for cars and I stopped, (after signaling) and took a photo right there in the middle of the road and I was teary.

What an experience. Soak it in. You don’t have to finish first, you don’t have to PR; there will be plenty of chances to run along the streets of your town or a nearby town where you can attempt those things. This is a RunDisney experience that not everyone gets the chance to do. Take it in, take the pictures, stand in the lines, stop (after signaling) and enjoy this incredibly opportunity.

20You trained and you are ready but you are also taking part in a unique experience; take full advantage of it.

Side note: I don’t personally recommend taking every photo. I took a photo at each mile marker because that was something I wanted and I stood in three lines for character photos. You don’t want to get capped; you want that medal so be mindful of that but enjoy it. Know where you are, know where you need to be and soak it in.

27.jpgCarb Loading is a Real Thing And Very Important

Your body will bonk, a running term that means that eventually, especially in longer races, your body will run out of energy and you will hit a wall. It is really important to eat something with carbs, even if it is small prior to race and important to eat your best meals the two days prior to a race. Meals high in Carbs, fiber and protein, low in fats and high in nutrients. Pastas, potatoes, breads, chicken breasts, leafy vegetables are important for your body to sustain energy and fuel itself longer during prolonged exertion. A Mickey Pretzel is actually not a bad option for a snack the day before a race because it includes carbs and salt, two very important fuels your body needs to perform at its best.


Other Disney snacks that could serve you well prior to race day include:

Corn Dog Nuggets from Casey’s Corner

Ooey Gooey Breakfast Sandwich or Butter Butter Sandwich from Boardwalk Bakery

Ronto Wrap or Nuna Turkey Jerky from Ronto’s Roasters

Loaded Tots From Friar’s Nook

29.jpgBison Burger from Geyser Point

Breakfast Bowl or Smoked Turkey Breakfast Sandwich from Woody’s Lunch Box

Ham and Cheese Croissant from the Boulangerie Patisserie

Tagliatelle Campagnole or Bistecca from Tutto Italia

Those are some suggestions for snacks or meals prior to your Disney race.

Have fun!

It’s easy to get caught up in wanting to win or being nervous about not being as prepared as you thought you would be. This is for fun. Go out there and have fun.

Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse.


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