How Can You Best Prepare for the Columbus Marathon? – Best Techniques

So, you’ve signed up for the Columbus Marathon. First off, congrats on committing to something that’s going to be quite an accomplishment when it’s all said and done. It’s all for a good cause, so that’s a bonus thing to be proud of.

Running around the streets of Columbus for hours on end in exchange for some sore muscles and a medal is truly a blast. Now, let’s talk about how you can prepare for this beast of a race.

The Course

Columbus Marathon preparation tips

The Columbus Marathon isn’t just any race. It’s held annually in the city of Columbus, Ohio, and it’s happening on Sunday, October 20, 2024.  The course is a flat 42.2 km (26.2 miles).

A flat course might sound like a breeze, but don’t be fooled. It’s still a marathon, not a walk in the park.

Plan Ahead

Before you lace up your running shoes, let’s talk logistics. Approximately 12,000 runners from 47 states and 13 countries are joining this year.

The full marathon sold out early last year, and the half-marathon followed a week later. So, if you want to participate, make sure that you apply on time. Also, you can try to apply for Long Beach Half Marathon as well.

Marathon Weekend Highlights

Here’s what you can expect, judging by the last year’s event:

  • Jesse Owens 5K: A fun way to warm up
  • One Mile Family Fun Walk: For those who want to participate without exerting themselves too much.
  • Health & Fitness Expo: Held at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, where you can pick up your race packet and buy running gear.
  • Live Entertainment: Bands and DJs will be scattered along the course to spice up the atmosphere.

Train Like You Mean It

Marathon training techniques

Training for a marathon isn’t something you can wing. If you’re thinking of showing up on race day without having done the work, you’re in for a rude awakening. Here’s what you should focus on:

Build Up Mileage Gradually

If you’re new to running, don’t start with a 20-mile run. You’ll end up on the couch with an ice pack, cursing the day you decided to run a marathon.

Start small and build up your mileage over time. Aim for three to four runs per week, gradually increasing your long run distance.

Mix It Up

Running the same route every day is boring. Vary your workouts to include interval training, hill workouts (yes, even for a flat marathon), and cross-training activities like cycling or swimming. It keeps things interesting and prevents burnout.

Rest and Recovery

Your body needs time to repair itself. Don’t skip rest days, thinking you’re being hardcore. You’re not. Incorporate rest and active recovery days into your schedule.

Nutrition and Hydration

Eating right isn’t just for bodybuilders. Focus on a balanced diet rich in carbs, proteins, and healthy fats. Stay hydrated, but don’t overdo it.

Race Day Strategy


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So, you’ve trained your butt off, and race day is here. Now what?

Arrive Early

With road closures and bus route adjustments, getting to the start line will be a hassle. Plan to arrive early to avoid unnecessary stress. You don’t want to start the race frazzled because you couldn’t find parking.

Warm Up Properly

A good warm-up can make a huge difference. Spend 10-15 minutes doing light jogging and dynamic stretches. It gets your blood flowing and prepares your muscles for the grueling task ahead.


Columbus Marathon guide

Start slow. The adrenaline of race day can trick you into going out too fast. Stick to your planned pace and save some energy for the second half of the race.

Fuel During the Race

Carry energy gels or chews and take them at regular intervals. There will be water stations along the course, so make use of them. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty; by then, it’s too late.

Mental Toughness

You’ll hit a wall. Probably around mile 20. Your legs will feel like lead, and you’ll question every life choice that led you to this point. This is where mental toughness comes in and when the REAL race begins.

Break the race into smaller segments and focus on getting to the next mile marker, the next band, or the next cheering crowd.

Volunteer Opportunities

Not running, but still want to be involved? Volunteer! It’s a great way to be part of the event without actually running. Volunteers get a free race volunteer shirt and a gift card. Plus, you get to be the hero who hands out water to anyone who’s running by.

The Cause & Nationwide Children’s Hospital

One of the best parts about the Columbus Marathon is that it’s not just about personal glory. The marathon supports Nationwide Children’s Hospital, having raised over $12 million in a 12-year partnership.

Throughout the race, you’ll see 24 Marathon Mile Champions – children treated at the hospital who will be cheering you on. If that doesn’t give you a boost of motivation, I don’t know what will.

Recovery and Celebration After the Race

Congratulations, you’ve crossed the finish line! Now what?

Cool Down

Don’t just stop running and collapse. Keep walking for a bit to help your muscles cool down gradually. Do some gentle stretches to prevent stiffness.

Rehydrate and Refuel

Your body needs fluids and nutrients to recover. Drink water or an electrolyte drink and have a snack rich in carbs and protein.  And yes, this is the time you’ve been waiting for – go ahead and eat that donut. You’ve earned it.


You just ran a marathon, for crying out loud. Celebrate! Whether it’s a big meal, a night out with friends, or just soaking in a hot bath, take the time to enjoy your achievement. You deserve it.

Final Thoughts

Preparing for the Columbus Marathon is no small feat. It requires dedication, hard work, and a bit of insanity. But with the right preparation and mindset, you can cross that finish line with a sense of accomplishment that’s hard to beat.

And remember, whether you’re running for a personal best or just to finish, you’re contributing to a cause much bigger than yourself. So, good luck, and see you at the finish line!