Required reading for marathoners: Pre-race inspiration, race-day tips, and recovery intel

NYC MarathonRunning a marathon is no small task. Aside from courage, determination, and crazy amounts of training, you have to find the right shoes, the most motivating playlist, and more.

Still, this Sunday, November 1, more than 50,000 runners are lacing up their sneakers and pinning on their bibs for the 2015 New York City Marathon.

To help, we compiled our best running inspiration and advice stories to get you to the finish line (and into an ice bath) as quickly as possible. And if you’re not hitting the streets this time, keep this list in your (running pants) back pocket for your next race. —Willa Tellekson-Flash

Pre-Race Inspiration

Feel like no one understands the feat you’re taking on?

These nine celebs have all been there before, and this superstar chef lost 60 pounds running 26.2. If that’s not enough, meet Simon Wheatcroft, the blind ultra-marathoner who lost his sight when he was 17 and ran from Boston to New York City last year to run the marathon.

Essential Race Day Tips

1. 5 marathon pros share their best race-day advice and the pre-race rituals that power them.

2. How to fuel your race: All the training in the world can’t get you across the finish line if you’re running on fumes. Marathon runner and dietician Kayleen St. John shares her advice on pre-race, race day, and post-race nutrition.

3. Need-to-know bathroom advice: Pit stops and cramping can ruin any run. Fellow marathoners share their tips for training their bladders to be just as prepared as their bodies.

4. Prepare your mind, too, by practicing these visualization exercises that will help you power through the longest miles.

Post-Race Recovery

We don’t blame you if you head straight for your massage therapist’s table, but in the short-term, you can soothe aching muscles with arnica, a homeopathic remedy for soreness and swelling.

And when you’re reading to stretch out, give your hamstringsIT bands, and chest a little post-race love with these simple yoga sequences designed specifically for runners.

(Photo: Facebook/TCS New York City Marathon)

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