5 Ways to Support Your Runner - NBC Chicago

1. Don't Text or Call The Night Before

With 26.2 miles on the docket, your runner is going to want to maximize sleep the night before the big race. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done with all the pre race jitters and excitement they’ll surely be feeling. And the last thing you’ll want to do is add to this anxiety with a “good luck” text or phone call. Save those sentiments for the next day and let them get some much needed rest!

2. Make Them a Motivating Playlist

Not only is a marathon a leg burning affair, but it can also be a monotonous one. That’s why there’s music, which is always the perfect partner to get any runner through those last few agonizing miles and across the finish line. Put a playlist together for your friend and fill it with inspiring tunes, from motivating rock to feel good pop to some groovy Chicago house music. It’ll be like you’re with them every step of the way (minus the sweat, of course).

3. Give Them a Pep Talk at The Start Line

While the night before text is a no no, the morning of pep talk can be a huge positive in your runner’s race. You want to keep them confident and focused as they approach the start line. Remind them of all the hard work they’ve put in, their physical and mental strength, and that you’ll be supporting them 100 percent of the way. Knowing their friends believe in them truly helps a marathoner make it through the race.

4. Give a Big Cheer After Mile 20

Mile 20 of a marathon is when things start to get real. Lactic acid builds up in the legs, cramps set in, the lungs burn. That’s why your runner needs you right here — mile 20 and after — cheering them on. Shout, scream, flood them with positivity. Believe us, hearing your friends and family support you is incredibly motivating as you tackle the final miles of the race.

5. Reward Them With a Tasty Treat

It’s no secret that marathons torch calories. Meaning the final miles of your runner’s race will be filled with images of delicious food — all the things they’ve been depriving themselves of in the buildup to their big day. Be their best fan ever by not only greeting them at the finish line, but by rewarding them with something delicious. Brownies, donuts, a big chocolate bar — it’s all fair game and will be oh so appreciated.