Philadelphia Marathon tips from local experts: Karen Gibble

A runner reacts as she approaches the finish line of the Philadelphia Marathon, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)

The runners behind Philadelphia's ODDyssey Half Marathon consulted with some of our best local running authorities and asked each of them to provide their top two tips on how to prepare for the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon on November 17.

Hopefully these tips will be helpful to all runners, especially those new to the sport, reminding them of the importance of a good training regimen in order to perform at peak level.

Sports Doc will offer tips from a local running expert daily leading up to the event. Today’s advice comes from Karen Gibble, manager of Bryn Mawr Running Company in Media:

Tip 1 - Dress appropriately. Too many people tend to over-dress for the temperatures and end up extra sweaty, chaffed and blistered. If the temps cool again or it's windy while running, the body can't keep up, you get cold and muscles shut down. It's ok to be a little chilly at the start. Your body temperature will rise 10-15 degrees while running. If you can't stand to be cold at the start, layer with some old clothing you don't mind throwing away.  
Tip 2 - Nutrition.  Don't fall into the trap of carbo-loading the night before. This will do nothing but make you feel sluggish and heavy on race day. Rarely do you burn everything where you would get to the point of using up those carb-reserves.  Make sure to eat a balanced meal the night before.

Light protein like chicken or fish, carbs, and veggies. Drink plenty of water and electrolyte blends to stay hydrated.  On race day, make sure you have tested what works for you during your training runs. Have a small pre-race breakfast, such as toast and peanut butter, a banana, or a dry bowl of cereal. Then plan for gels and/or gummies during the race as well as electrolyte drinks and water. Don't rely on the race stops as they can get crowded and run out of nutrition quickly.

Karen Gibble was the second place female at the 2012 ODDyssey Half Marathon. She is manager of Bryn Mawr Running Company in Media, has been a runner for 20-plus years, competed in XC & Track all through grade school and college, and continues to run and race a variety of distances.

Stay tuned for more 2013 Philadelphia Marathon coverage at

Read more Sports Doc for Sports Medicine and Fitness.