You may find below useful information and guidelines about your participation in the 2020 Virtual Athens Marathon. Useful advice for those planning to run a Marathon race comes first and then advice for those to run 5km or 10km follows.

You are given a unique chance!

Regardless of previous marathon running experience, the virtual run gives you the chance to make good use of your training and try your physical ability during this challenging time that there are not many races. Some useful practical guidelines will aid you in living the experience to the fullest with the lowest possible cost.

Marathon

The Preparation

Should I run the Marathon?

42.2 km running takes a great effort that lasts many hours. Not everyone can take that challenge, when undertrained. The dream, inspiration and mood for heroism are not all it takes. What we recommend for ALL marathon runners is preventive, pre-race checkups, especially cardiological. Make sure you do not neglect the cardiac check up! Take the responsibility: you are doing it for your own wellbeing!

What kind and how much training must I have done beforehand?

Especially for the marathon, a preparation of several weeks is necessary. At least 5-6 weeks, with a minimum of three workouts per week, with several kilometers are considered as minimal preparation. If you do not have previous experience of a marathon, you should have run at least half the distance in a race or training and your body should give you the feeling that you canrun/walk for much longer.

If the above has not been done beforehand, it is better to choose another distance for the virtual run, e.g. 10 or 5km.

Am I in danger if I really want to run the distance of 42.2 km?

Not necessarily, taking into account that the virtual run gives you the opportunity to run / walk without the slightest stress. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t think only of the satisfaction and pride of having achieved your goal, but also of “the price”. If you are unprepared, protect your body from possible damage caused by incomplete or improper preparation. It is your own “damaged” body that you will need for your daily life and for your next preparation. Therefore, make sure you enjoy the experience and not let your body suffer.

The previous days and the evening before

My training

The previous days run more loosely and for lesser times than usual. Training more and harder will not improve you at all. Save your energy for the virtual run.

My routine

As much as you can, avoid unnecessary fatigue and standing. Sleep earlier and longer than usual. Avoid any situation that causes stress.
In the last few days, take care of your hydration, especially if the day you are going to run is expected to be warm.
Make sure you get a good night's sleep on the evening, after a light, non-alcoholic dinner.

Which route should I run?

Unfortunately, the authentic route from Marathon to the Panathenaic Stadium is celebrated only once a year and only then it is a completely traffic- free route. Choose a route that inspires you, a route that you run often or rarely, do whatever you like. Run in a park, on the street, in a stadium, on a treadmill. Run on an asphalt path that alternates with a dirt surface if it relaxes your feet. You will choose whether uphill and downhill slopes will be inserted. If you do not want to go too far, choose a circular route and repeat it as many times as needed. Wherever you run, be careful!

My equipment and feeding

Everything is prepared in advance, not at the last minute. Clothes compatible with the weather forecast, with your individual needs and habits. Never wear brand new clothes and especially shoes in a marathon race.
Organize your energy replacement plan. How do you hydrate in a Long Run? You should choose tried and tested practices and goods. On a round route it is easier to set up your own supply station. If you do not think of something else, make sure you determine the places where you will find drinking water, find or leave bottled water, isotonic drinks or food. It is important to act by following a specific plan than at random. If you think it is important and you have already tested before, use a belt or waistband or a light shoulder bag for water and supplies.

My plan

Organize your plan in detail, with wisdom and logic: where, when, how much and how you will do everything. A plan is preferable and more functional than improvising. Above all, plan the pace at which you will run. Rely on your training experience. Start relaxed. The virtual run gives you the opportunity to implement your plan without stress.

Tip: Do not neglect to inform someone around you about your plan, route and time you will run.

The day of your Virtual Run

Am I ready?

Breakfast or lunch before the virtual run should be very light - what do you usually eat before you go for a Long Run? - and let it take place at least three hours before the run. If you are not in a good mood or disposition, postpone the virtual run for another day, especially if you feel sick, exhausted or have a fever. You can overcome many obstacles and difficulties, but only if you are healthy and without orthopedic injuries.

During the real Athens Marathon we run with absolute safety, how can we run somewhere else with the same safety?

This is a very serious matter. Where and how you do a Long Run? How do you protect yourself? Do the same. Avoid roads with heavy traffic and high vehicle speeds. Choose hours when there is little or no traffic in those areas.

With running mates or alone?

You know yourself and your body well, you trust your strengths. Do you know your company well enough? The question is not only the ability and confidence that you can follow the pace of others for a long time. Nor are we talking about the unfortunate choice to be seduced by your company into an adventurous, faster pace.

We are referring to the self-protection conditions from COVID-19! You are not in danger alone, with healthy company you feel more beautiful, less monotonous. It’s your choice. How well do you know each other, so that you are not all in danger together? How thinly are you running? Do you constantly maintain safe distances between yourself, one and a half meters to each other and a greater distance back and forth?How are the above ensured, e.g. on a public road? As you know, gatherings of more than 9 people are prohibited in most parts of Greece - the same goes for group running.
Music in your ears could be the best company, though it shouldn’t distract your attention from the surrounding, for example the traffic around you, nor to affect your seamless pace.

Hydration and energy

Drink water regularly, about every 15-25 minutes in a moderate amount, according to your plan, time and experience (as much as you may have). By sweating your body loses valuable minerals, so make sure you reload them by taking regularly isotonic drink, electrolytes, salt capsules or salty snacks – anything that is tested and functional for you. Energy is reloaded with a supply rich in sugar. Faster runners will prefer sugars in oral or thickened form (gel) for more immediate absorption, those who will run for hours should prefer sugars in solid form, easy to digest, e.g. cereal bars, isotonic with sugar, bananas, raisins, snacks, all in small quantities, but in regular and timely intake.

Problem while running?

Observe it for a while and do not ignore it, solve it immediately, otherwise you will carry it for an hour and it will intensify. Not solved immediately? Reducing the pace is the most appropriate and useful measure for most problems.

Tip: If possible have your cell phone with you, in case anything may occur.

No stress!

Act without stress. In your body and mind you will feel better, your decisions will be more targeted, everything will be better, your pleasure bigger and the price of your effort lower. The greatest virtue of a marathon runner is patience, greater than being a hero.

After the virtual run

As soon as you complete your effort, be sure to drink water and immediately eat something light, e.g. banana, cereal snack. Keep drinking water regularly in small doses for several hours. Your first meal should be rich in carbohyrdates.
It will help you a lot to walk fast for a while, later during the same day.

Get some rest!Don’t be in a rush to start runningtoo soon. Takea break from running for a few days, so that all the organic systems in your body balance out.

For a few weeksrun fewer kilometers and with less intensity. This will speed up the recovery and will challenge your appetite for your next running experience.

We hope you enjoy the virtual run!

See you in November 2021 on the route that all the runners in the world want to run: from Marathon to KallimarmaroPanathenaic Stadium!

GeorgiosDoussis –Technical Consultant Athens Marathon
Competition Department, Marathon Office


5km & 10km

The preparation

Should I run 5k or 10k? What and how long of a training should has preceded?

If you walk or run 2-3 times a week, you can run 10km. If you don’t dispose any noteworthy running experience, it’s your chance to walk/run or loosely run 5km. A common factor: whatever you do, take your time! Therefore, make sure to enjoy the experience and not be afflicted.

The previous days and the evening before

My training

The previous days run more loosely and for lesser times than usual. Take a day off training on the evening of the virtual run.

My routine

As much as you can, avoid unnecessary fatigue and standing. Sleep earlier and longer than usual. Avoid any situation that causes stress.
In the last few days, take care of your hydration, especially if the day you are going to run is expected to be warm.
Make sure you get a good night's sleep on the evening, after a light, non-alcoholic dinner.

Which route should I run?

Choose a route that inspires you, a route that you run often or rarely, do whatever you like. Run in a park, on the street, in a stadium, on a treadmill. Run on an asphalt path that alternates with a dirt surface if it relaxes your feet. You will choose whether uphill and downhill slopes will be inserted. If you do not want to go too far, choose a circular route and repeat it as many times as needed. Wherever you run, be careful!

My equipment and feed

Everything is prepared in advance, not at the last minute. Clothes compatible with the weather forecast, with your individual needs and habits. Never wear brand new clothes and especially shoes in a race.

Let your provisioning plan primarily contain water. Do you need water when walking / running in your workouts? Do something similar. If you need something extra, use a belt or waistband or a light shoulder bag for water and supplies.

My plan

Organize it. A plan is preferable and more functional than improvising. Above all, plan the pace at which you will run. Rely on your training experience. Start relaxed. The virtual run gives you the opportunity to implement your plan without stress.

Tip: Do not neglect to inform someone around you about your plan, route and time you will run.

The day of the virtual run

Am I ready?

Breakfast or lunch before the virtual run should be very light - what do you usually eat before you go for a run? - and let it take place at least three hours before the run.

If you are not in a good mood or disposition, postpone the virtual run for another day, especially if you feel sick, exhausted or have a fever. You can overcome many obstacles and difficulties, but only if you are healthyand without orthopedic injuries.

During the real Athens Marathon we run with absolute safety, how can we run somewhere else with the same safety?

This is a very serious matter. Where and how do you work out? How do you protect yourself? Do the same. Avoid roads with heavy traffic and high vehicle speeds. Choose hours when there is little or no traffic in those areas.

With running mates or alone?

You know yourself and your body well, you trust your strengths. Do you know your company well enough? The question is not only the ability and confidence that you can follow the pace of others for a long time. Nor are we talking about the unfortunate choice to be seduced by your company into an adventurous, faster pace.

We are referring to the self-protection conditions from COVID-19! You are not in danger alone, with healthy company you feel more beautiful, less monotonous. It’s your choice. How well do you know each other, so that you are not all in danger together? How thinly are you running? Do you constantly maintain safe distances between yourself, one and a half meters to each other and a greater distance back and forth?How are the above ensured, e.g. on a public road? As you know, gatherings of more than 9 people are prohibited in most parts of Greece - the same goes for group running.
Music in your ears could be the best company, though it shouldn’t distract your attention from the surrounding, for example the traffic around you, nor to affect your seamless pace.

Problem while running?

Observe it for a while and do not ignore it, solve it immediately, otherwise you will carry it for an hour and it will intensify. Not solved immediately? Reducing the pace is the most appropriate and useful measure for most problems.

Tip: If possible have your cell phone with you, in case anything may occur.

After your Virtual Run

As soon as you complete your effort, be sure to drink water and immediately eat something light, e.g. banana, cereal snack.
Get some rest! In the next 2-3 days, first ask your body what condition it is in and then go out for the first relaxed run. Know that the recovery process takes a few days, more for the less trained.

We hope you enjoy the virtual run!

See you in November 2021 at the great running fiesta: the Athens Marathon.

GeorgiosDoussis –Technical Consultant Athens Marathon
Competition Department, Marathon Office