The upcoming October 11th Bank of America Chicago Marathon is NOT to be trifled with, and you need to be prepared.

First held in 1977 as the Mayor Daley Marathon, and draws many professional runners looking to break records. Attracting 4,200 runners it first year, it is now limited to 45,000.

If you are one of the lucky individuals participating, hopefully these tips can help…

Beware of the Wind!

Yes. Chicago is windy. Yes. This is real advice. If you find yourself besieged by wind, don’t be afraid to use other runners as human shields. This sounds dumb, but running just behind someone, or off to the side of someone, can have a surprising effect if the day happens to be unusually windy.

Pace Yourself

Especially on the first half of the race. Its flat surfaces make it seem like the whole raise will be a breeze, but the difficulties in the second half prove otherwise. Save some energy for that second half!

Prepare!

Make sure to constantly fill up on food the days leading up to the race. Plan your meals and snacks accordingly. Also, plan what you’ll need to pack (if you’re going to a race out of town) at least a full day before you leave — it should relieve some anxiety.

Chicago’s Cold

While the city’s weather isn’t predictable, there have been many chilly Chicago Marathons. Even if it seems like it might be warm, plan for the cold. Old sweaters are ideal, because you can wear them at the beginning of the race, and won’t feel bad when you toss them out in the middle of the race as you get hotter.

Aid!

Know where to expect the aid stations and plan accordingly.

Friends

Friends are great! They can cheer you on throughout the race, and even hold your stuff so you don’t have to check it in.

Have Fun!

But that one’s obvious. Still, you know what allows for the most fun? To make sure your body is as prepared for the race as possible.

Prepare it for the race by running any (or all) of Chicago’s half marathons taking place throughout the summer!