Planning a Marathon Race preparation for our participation it is by default a very complicated procedure and for many people applies the motto “if you fail to plan, then you probably plan to fail”.

For the above reason here is provided a generic plan on how to approach not only the preparation period but also the race day.


  • The focus of our preparation must be given to our personal effort and not on our surroundings. For this reason it is valuable to avoid any comparisons and wrong models. It is desired to adapt running to our lives and not the other way around.
  • Before we begin our preparation we perform all necessary medical examinations, which include hematologic markers, cardiology and physiotherapist checks on the functional status of the musculoskeletal system and the range of motion of the joints.
  • The starting point before choosing any training plan or program should be our current fitness status. By performing an ergonomic control helps greatly in qualitative and quantitative configuration of training units.
  • The coaching process is a personalized process. It should be discerning and pragmatic, while training incentive should always be selected and applied in relation to the subjective feeling (Borg Scale). As it is commonly said “we listen to our body!!!”
  • We address to a specialist with undeniable knowledge and experience. In any case, the choice of a ready plan should be in keeping with the level of the participant, his/her goal and the time available.
  • The recordings of the workouts and their results, in the so-called timetable, are a reference which shows the progress and provides inspiration for the athlete.
  • Training sessions should be an investment of time for us and our goal. Those must be targeted and within training interventions limits in order to avoid imminent injuries and excessive stress.
  • The following principles must be included into our training sessions:
    • Progressive surcharge
    • Periodicity
    • Specialized incentive
    • Adaptability-Feedback
  • In case of a prolonged interruption of the training process, the biological adjustments are reversed and, as a consequence, the athlete is disassociate.


Time related information

  1. A proper preparation for a marathon race usually takes 12 to 26 weeks, depending on our current fitness status, available time, our goal and our racing past.
  2. Mental preparation and visualization of the progress of a race, help us to cope with difficulties and pain, as well as to achieve the desired route effect.
  3. It is our responsibility (the participant’s) to check the official media of the Organizing Committee (e.g. website, social media, etc) and get informed in proper time about all side competition details like packet pickup, personal storage areas, closed roads, ways to get started, warm up areas, etc.

Route information

  1. We carefully study the route, divide it into pieces and set individual goals. We also must analyze possible scenarios of the race.
  2. Choose suitable soils to minimize vibration and stress. Beware of the tartan, as many of them are tough and designed for speed racing. In general, we avoid performing high intensity asphalt workouts.

Training Programme

  1. The training routine can break by changing routines or changing environment.
  2. Plan intermediate control races. Those are a pleasant break but also a rehearsal for the main racing event that we have set as a goal. Also, those races are a first-rate feedback to our coaching options.
  3. During the training process make sure to do 2-3 long runs (LONG RUN) during the actual hours of conduct of our race or in other words we conduct training simulations.
  4. The test race can be performed 7-10 days before the official race, with a suggested distance of 8-12 km for the marathon and 3-8 km for the 5 km and 10 km races. A pace a little faster than the race can apply.
  5. It is recommended that the long lasting training for the marathon is 90 minutes or 12-20 km while for the 5 km and 10 km is 60 minutes.
  6. Avoid strength training the last 2 weeks before the race.
  7. We do not test race in the last days before the race.

Plan of needs coverage and other health and hygiene issues

  1. We must train ourselves to consume carbohydrates, especially in long-lasting competitions such as the marathon, and strictly maintain in our diet plan.
  2. We are developing a water supply plan based on the upcoming weather conditions of the race.
  3. During the last days before the race we check the color of our urine to make sure we are hydrated.
  4. We ensure quality sleep, especially in the last days before the race.
  5. Avoid last-minute “magic” solutions with nutritional supplements, pills and herbs, and generally any experiment related to water and nutrition.
  6. We pay particular attention to the hygiene of the last days but also to our contact with factors that may burden our health and cause any frivolous cold.
  7. We reduce long standing and pointless walks, especially the last 2-3 days before the race.
  8. The meals on the last day before the race (lunch and dinner) but also our breakfast on the race day (which must be consumed about 3 hours before the start of the race) must be consumed precisely.

Apparel & accessories

  1. Great care must be given on how we choose our track equipment (clothes, shoes, socks) and especially the one that is going to be used on the race day, which should be tested for several kilometers and, if possible, in race conditions.
  2. The usage of certain road accessories like hat, sunglasses, power belt, and lubricant cream can be extremely useful.

Few days and the last day before the competition

  1. Avoid analgesics consumption 48 hours before the race but also 6 hours after the race.
  2. The previous day we prepare the runner’s list which include clothes, shoes, bib number, timing chip and bag with all the necessary equipment and personal items that we will need before and after the race. We don’t forget to write our details behind the bib number, as well as our weight.
  3. The meals on the last day before the race (lunch and dinner) but also our breakfast on the race day (which must be consumed about 3 hours before the start of the race) must be consumed precisely.


  1. Make an ally on race day: The clock is a valuable tool in achieving our goal. We make sure that we are familiar with its operation and that it is properly charged.
  2. Make sure that we are at the starting position 40-45 minutes prior the start of our race.
  3. Waiting for the race to start, we remain warm and we make one last check on our clothes and shoes.
  4. 5 to 10 minutes before the race we try to isolate ourselves and calm down.
  5. We manage the first few kilometers of the race with calm and restraint.
  6. We watch out the “companionships” that develop as the race progresses and we avoid zigzags.
  7. We organize a rehabilitation program for the first 48 hours after the race (fluids, meals, stretches, massages, rehabilitation runs).

Last but not least and regardless of each participant’s personal goals, we must always remember that the participation in a Marathon Race is a celebration and above all we should enjoy every moment of it and create unforgettable life memories and experiences!

The 8th Crete Marathon” wishes you Good Luck and Every Success to your Efforts and is looking forward welcoming you on Sunday 14 April 2024 in Chania!


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