During 2012 & 2013 Mumbai marathon, I ran with friends to pace them. Here is a link to pics from Mumbai. They'll come in handy for folks running first time in Mumbai marathon. 

Mumbai marathon is only 4-5 days away now. You need to take it very easy during these few days before the race. Even if you are not doing it and training for New Delhi Marathon, which is in 7 weeks time, take this week easy. 

What you can very easily do in the last week before the marathon in your eagerness to train, is injure yourself. If you haven’t trained enough, please don’t risk a permanent injury. It might be better not to run. Think long term, not just about this one race. 

No matter what distance you are running this Sunday, the below plan will work for you. 

Tip for this week:

  1. Please don’t try to make up for all the training that you should and could have done. Just stay active and mobile throughout the last week. 
  2. Even if you have been training, don’t exert yourself by running hard this week. 
  3. Don’t wear any new running shoes or other running gear during the race, nor try anything new like an energy gel if you haven’t used it during your training runs. 
  4. Remind yourself to land softly on your feet
  5. Keep your breathing gentle, easy in, easy out. 

Wednesday: Active rest day: Focus today is only on drills and exercises. If you are up for it, 30-45 min walk or easy jog.

  1. 30-40 min easy walk-jog.
  2. Skip: Skip or hop in the same spot very softly for 45-60 seconds. Repeat 6-10 times throughout the day. Reminder, be as soft on your feet, as you possibly can be.
  3. Squats (from 1st week): Do 30-50 repetitions. 5-7 sets throughout the day. 
  4. Single Leg Heel Raises (from 2nd week): Do repeat 50-70 times with both legs. 5-7 sets throughout the day.
  5. Toe Curls (from 3rd week): 30-40 repeats, 5-7 sets throughout the day. 
  6. Nordic Hamstrings Exercise (from 4th week): Do 10-15 repeats, 5-7 sets throughout the day
  7. Gluteus Maximus Activation (from 5th week): Do 10 repeats, 4-5 sets throughout the day.
  8. Squeezing the orange (from 6th week): Do 20-30 repeats, 4-5 sets throughout the day.
  9. Planks on the ground (from 7th week): Hold the plank for 20-30 seconds. Repeat 4-5 times throughout the day.
  10. Sitting Side Bending: Hold for 10 seconds, increments of three, both sides. Repeat 4-5 sets throughout the day. 
  11. Butterfly: Do 15-20 repeats. Do 4-5 sets throughout the day.
  12. High Knees: 10 metres for 4-5 min. Repeat 4-5 times throughout the day. 
  13. Heel to butt: 10 metres for 4-5 min. Repeat 4-5 times throughout the day.
  14. Soft but quick steps: 1 min, Repeat 4-5 times throughout the day.

Thursday: Rest or maybe do 30-45 min walk - run. Please don’t exert yourself. Simply focus on time on feet.

Friday: Easy 30-40 walk - run. Don’t strain yourself.

Saturday: Last 24 hrs are very important. Please stay calm. If you are in M

  1. Walk - Run: If you have travelled to Mumbai for the marathon, please go for a 30-40 min walk - run just to get used to the Mumbai weather. This is more relevant for folks who have come from the areas where the temperature has dipped over last few days.
  2. Meals: Eat well for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Don’t stress trying to have carb-loaded lunch or dinner. It is overrated. Have your dinner 2 hours before you plan to sleep. 
  3. Traffic restrictions & driving route: Make yourself aware of traffic restrictions and how to get to the venue. You might want to plan out cab sharing with other running friends. Do it the evening before. 
Calvin box

Packing bags: 

Bag 1: 

Enter your details on your bib number (race number) and using the safety pins given, put it on to your t-shirt you’ll be wearing tomorrow. Don’t cut or alter the bib number in anyway. 

Keep socks, shoes, running cap, under-wears, shorts and t-shirt together so you don’t have to run around looking for them in the morning.

Phone along with 2-3 hundred rupee notes in case you need them to get a cab or auto

Energy food and hydration: Carry 2-3 energy bars if you have used them during training and two 200ml bottles with electrolyte

Running mask: Only if you are used to it.

Bag 2:

The bag to leave at baggage counter: 

Keep change of clothes including t-shirt, shorts, socks, sandals, underwear,  and towels. It feels excellent to get into fresh clothes after a hard run.     


Plan to sleep 6-8 hours depending on how long is your regular good sleep. Work backwards from when you are supposed to get up. Keep in mind that you need to get to the venue early and also account for the rush and traffic restrictions while trying to get in at the venue.


Before the run: 

Waking up: Get up early enough to spend extra time in the loo as you might want to go twice or be there longer. Plan your sleeping time based on this. 

Getting to the venue: Don’t get your family to the venue of the race as they’ll not be allowed in the stadium. If they want to come and cheer, it’s best for them to plan independently.

Baggage counter: Tag the bag with your race number that you plan to leave and don’t put any valuables inside as you’ll have no one to complain to if something goes missing. You will need your baggage tag to get your bag back so keep it safely. 

Hydration: Don’t over-hydrate. Drink to thirst. 

Loo: Stand in the loo queue even before you need to use the loo as the queues might be longer than you would have expected. 

Warm up: There is this fashion nowadays of long warm up sessions doing Zumba or Bhangra. Please save your energy for the race itself. 

During the run:

Please don't push to the start line: Your time starts from the point you cross the start line so don’t push people around to get to the start-line first. 

Strategy: We’ll follow the same strategy we have practiced during last couple of long runs. Divide the run into three equal parts. First 7 km are just to get used to the conditions, next 7 you really know what is going on and in the last 7 at your 80-90 percent effort only. 

Start with first km in 5:30 - 6:00, just getting used to the conditions. Please don’t stress if too many people are sprinting in the beginning. They don’t know enough or are running for the cameras. Do next 6 kms in 35 min, followed by next 7 kms in 39 min and last 7 kms in 40 min. If you think you have enough energy in the last km or two, just go for it.

Water stations: They will be there every 2 km if not sooner. They’ll cater to your water needs. Stop every alternate water station and walk for 15-30 seconds, pick a water bottle and have a sip or two from the very first water station itself. Don’t bank on water station for electrolytes. Take 1-2 bottles of electrolytes, that you are used to, with you. Have a sip of electrolyte every alternate water station when you don’t have water. 

Pacers: Run at your pace rather than trying to keep up with anyone else, unless you have trained with someone before. 

After the run: 

Finish: Remind yourself to have a massive smile on while crossing the finish line. That smile is to congratulate yourself for having done something amazing, no matter what the time be. Please don’t stop right after crossing the finish line but keep walking. 

Medal / Refreshment: You’ll get the medal soon after crossing the finish line.

Baggage: You will need your baggage tag to get your bag back so keep it safe and dry. 

Meeting friends or family: Fix a comfortable spot to meet your family. I prefer spots which are not right there but a little walking distance so that not everyone else is not right there. 

At the end of it, remind yourself to spread the running habit to other friends and family as well. Congratulations. Keep miling and smiling for life. 

This is part of a marathon training plan that was coming on Hindustan Times till a few weeks back. It will carry on till New Delhi Marathon. 

Dr Rajat Chauhan is a student of running & pain and a Sports Medicine doctor who is an author of The Pain Handbook: A non-Surgical way of managing Back, Neck and Knee Pain. He has been organising La Ultra - The High, a 333km run in Leh-Ladakh for last 7 years now. Twitter: @drrajatchauhan