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Despite the recent government shutdown, the Marine Corps Marathon is still on. That's great news for runners. Instead of worrying if you'll even have a chance to put all your training to the test, now you can just focus on race day. 
All the work you've done over the last few months is sure to pay off on October 27. And while you can't cram for a marathon by forcing extra workouts in the final seven days leading up to your race (that would just leave you empty on the big day!), you can take a few simple steps to ensure you arrive at the starting line in optimal condition. 
That's why the fitness professionals at Sports Club/LA - Washington DC have put together a list of their five favorite pre marathon tips. Read on and rest up, runners! 
While we might feel inclined to keep pushing the pace and volume as we hit peak fitness, it's important to shore up our strength rather than expend it. Therefore, plan to reduce your running by 60 percent in the final week leading up to your marathon. Do some short easy runs in the beginning of the week, making sure to interject a few 100-meter sprints to remind your body what it feels like to go fast, then coast toward race day with a few light jogs, focusing on resting over running. 
Set Your Internal Clock 
One of the simplest tricks you can add to your one week out race routine is to time your workouts so that they kick off at the same hour you'll be running your marathon. Not only will this allow you to adapt to the typical weather conditions you'll be facing, but it will allow your body to set its sleep and bathroom routines.  
Dress For Success 
Having the optimal shoes and shirt are critical on race day, but the last thing you want to do is break in a new pair of kicks and some fresh threads during your marathon. Instead, go for a few runs in what you plan to rock on race day to ensure everything breaths properly and won't cause blisters. 
Upping the amount of carbohydrates you consume is the perfect way to top off your muscles' glycogen stores (i.e. what you'll be burning during your race). But that doesn't mean you can start pigging out. The key isn't to eat more food. Instead, make carbohydrate-rich foods like pasta, potatoes, bread and fruit a bigger percentage of your existing diet. You want to line up lean and mean but adequately fueled, not bloated and tired. Start carbo-loading from three days out through your race day breakfast. 
Prepare Two Goals
Having a goal is a big motivating factor. It's what gets us out of bed and out on the road, running for months as we prep for the big day. But marathons aren't run indoors in a controled environment. On race day, there can be a lot of variables at play, from adverse weather conditions to your own physical condition. That's why it's important to set a second goal should things not be ideal on race day. Having a second goal or contingency plan will keep you happy and motivated.

Sports Club/LA wishes the best of luck to all of the Marine Corps Marathon Runners and looks forward to helping you prepare for your next fitness challenge. Home to some the world's best private trainers and over 10,000 square feet of equipment, yoga and fitness studios, as well as a full-court basketball court and squash courts, Sports Club/LA –Washington DC is the place to get in shape. To learn more about membership and exclusive classes, visit
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