In the next week and a bit, clubhouses around the country will be abuzz with nervous banter and last minute advice for conquering ‘The World’s most beautiful marathon’. Not to mention a flood of social media feeds from the organizers. All before you even walk into running candy land at the race expo! Before you know it, you will be questioning your strategy and fighting temptation to change the plan or try some new product.
So my first bit of advice for the final 48 hours is: Make your pre-race and race plans well ahead of time and then – “STAY IN YOUR LANE!”
Apart from politely nodding and then ignoring all your new expert advisers and safely getting through race expo without purchasing any new “magic” gels, what are the most important points for the last 48 hours so as not to undo all the hard training?
- Feet up! Minimize walking and standing as much as possible. Especially on the Thursday. These are the 2 days of the year where you will be rewarded (with a great race) for doing less than 10000 steps.
- Do the bulk of your carboloading on the Wednesday and Thursday. Finish up with a good carbohydrate meal at lunch on the Friday and from there just light topping up.
- Get to bed early on the Thursday night. No matter how early you go to bed Friday, you are likely to be waking up every hour to check the time!
- Do a light run on the Friday morning (This is the only time you should not be horizontal!), this helps to get the metabolism going and prevents that sluggish, bloated feeling one can get from resting. Ignore all the little niggles, they are ghost pains and your mind playing tricks.
- Avoid talking and thinking about the race all the time. This will only create unnecessary nervous energy, especially if you are a novice. Find some restful distractions like a movie (not Chariots of fire!), hang out on the couch with your spouse and kids or read a good (non running) book.
- Set out your race kit and nutrition on the Friday evening already. Numbers pinned to vest and very very important, your timing chip tied to your shoe!
- Go carefully over your logistics for getting to the start line, parking, meeting friends and family afterwards etc. Take into account the extra race day traffic and plan time for things like that last toilet visit and congestion at the start pens.
- Be prepared for all weather conditions and pack the necessary extra gear into your race bag (rain jacket, black bag/throw away top for the early morning chill etc.). Also pack a few light energy snacks and water keeping in mind that you will have a longer than usual wait between arriving and the start.
- Put out your breakfast snack and coffee the night before so you don’t waste time in the morning.
- Set 2 alarms and then make a decision to trust your body and relax. If you trained hard and rested up, you’ve got this!
Watch out for my next post coming very soon where I will be doing a walk through of the route from start to finish and how to approach it.