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8 things that are only socially acceptable before a marathon

How to spot a runner who's about to run a race

Lots of runners are in the final weeks of preparation for their spring marathon. Before a big race, emotions are high. There’s heavy anticipation, excitement and adrenaline. If you’ve ever run a marathon, or are about to run one, you’ll recognize the following as things that become very socially acceptable pre-race (that might be a little frowned upon otherwise).

RELATED: 8 things that are socially acceptable after a marathon

Drinking Pedialyte


Runners get anxious about race-day hydration, so consuming ample fluids the day before the gun goes is a priority. For some runners, this pre-race ritual includes Pedialyte, for others, it includes having a water bottle basically glued to their hand. Either way, dehydration (hopefully) won’t be an issue.

Compression socks are your coolest accessory



A runner who’s competing in the coming days wants to keep their legs feeling good. How do they do this? Compression. You can spot a runner who’s about to run a race based on their socks. If they’re wearing compression (especially casually) you know there’s a start line on their horizon.

A public crisis about shoes


A marathon expo is a great way to find out about the latest and greatest in running, but runners can also get a little carried away, and end up purchasing new things they decide to try on race day. The rule is: nothing new on race day. That includes the really cool carbon-plated shoes you got at the expo. Stick to what you know and have trained in.

Sitting down whenever (and wherever) possible


A person running a marathon wants to save their legs, so no, they’re not taking the stairs. Pre-marathon runners can also be found sitting in hallways, grocery carts, staircases and other places you wouldn’t expect an adult to just sit down.

Covering yourself in athletic tape


If you have a small pain in the middle of a build, unless it progresses, you typically won’t give it too much thought. However, if you feel a small pain a few days ahead of a marathon–you’re going to want to address that issue. This sometimes gets addressed by applying many layers of athletic tape.

Wearing the exact same outfit as everyone else

When runners pick up their bibs, they also pick up their race t-shirts. And then they put them on.

Use of every recovery product you own (at the same time)

You want your body to be in tip-top condition on the start line. For lots of runners, this means using every recovery tool they’ve ever owned (and possibly picking up a few new ones) in the days before a race.

Eating exceptionally boring food


Before a marathon, runners’ diets are astonishingly bland. They’re looking to get in everything they need, without veering from what they know works for them. If you’re meeting a marathoner for dinner a few days before a race, don’t be shocked if their ideal meal is (fairly) plain carbs and some similarly plain protein.