Finally we have reached the last week of training! We started way back on 5th January 2015 and since then we have run a total of 529km! I can’t say it has been a completely enjoyable experience, in fact, I would say it has been really hard both physically and mentally but I feel proud that we have all gotten this far and can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
My life has been totally consumed with marathon training over the last 13 weeks not only the physical time training but the amount of time reading and researching different aspects to running a successful marathon. I would estimate I probably have spent about 12 hours a week especially during the weeks we were doing our long runs. I am quite looking forward to reclaiming back that time, I could take on a part time job or go to Uni or something with all that extra time!
So, one week to go before D day. Here is my plan:
1. Stick to the Plan – No matter whether I feel like doing more or less I am going to stick to my taper plan. Everything I have read says to taper for three weeks before (which we have been doing) and don’t deviate from the plan. So don’t take up a new form of exercise, don’t start eating stuff you don’t normally eat. – Stick to the plan.
2. Stay hydrated – Again what I have read says to stay well hydrated the week before the marathon. Keep checking your urine and if it isn’t nearly clear coloured, up your fluids.
3. Increase carbohydrates - Three days before the race start to increase carbohydrate intake. It doesn’t have to be a massive bowl of pasta if that’s not what you normally eat but just alter your ratios of protein to carbohydrate so you eat more carbs than normal.
4. Make a check list - Make a list of what I need to bring so things like; what I will wear on the day , race bib, safety pins, energy gels, Vaseline, band aids, fuel belt, music, ear phones, chargers etc. I am also going to bring my normal snacks and breakfast etc that I will eat on the morning of the race. Because we are staying at a hotel a few days before the race it’s important to have your own food and snacks with you so that you aren’t running around trying to find a seven eleven the night before the race.
5. Run the day before - Rest two days before the event (in our case we are racing on Sunday so rest on Friday) but on Saturday go for a 15 min jog. It won’t make you tired it will actually prevent your legs from feeling heavy and sluggish the next day.
6. Don’t forget to warm up - On the morning do your usual warm up. Your body is used to it so don’t abandon it on the day. Again, your warm up won’t make you tired it will prepare you for the run ahead.
7. Don’t stress - Don’t eat sleep and drink the marathon the week before. If you start getting stressed take some deep breaths and repeat a mantra such as “I have done the work, just enjoy the run.”
8. Stay positive – don’t let negative self-talk derail all your training. You have done the training now is the time to shine! Visualise yourself crossing the finish line and feeling proud of all you have achieved. Jeff Gaudette who is a great running coach recommends setting yourself three goals: a good goal, a great goal and an awesome goal. Your good goal is something you know you can easily achieve for example not starting out too fast. The great goal could be finishing the race without hitting the wall and the awesome goal could be the PB time you have always dreamed of. No matter how you run on the day you will still achieve your good goal.