We have arrived at the final phase before race week, The “Freak Out” phase! If you live with an ultra runner, good luck.
In the second last week before the race, your biggest challenge is that you have way too much time to think. This is when those little voices of doubt come to torment you. So what to do in order to stay calm and sane?
- Do not join the conversation. If you have done the training, you have nothing to fear. Also, stay away from negative talking runners.
- Go back to your training logs for reassurance. The work is done, now trust your body!
- Resist the temptation to add in “just one more” hard long run. You will feel a little sluggish and grumpy, this is a normal part of tapering. A bit like a drug addict coming off a high! It is rest that is needed to convert all that hard training into superman fitness.
- Try not to think too much about the race. Go watch a movie, read a non running book, spend some quality time with friends and family (without talking running!) …
- Do not stress about every niggle you feel. If it is something you were feeling in your last long training, get it seen to by a professional therapist. The rest of the random little aches and pains are a normal part of the tapering process, your body is in hyper repair mode ahead of the big day and the best thing you can do is to spend plenty time off your feet and allow it to do its thing. Everything is going to be more than okay.
- Don’t become a germaphobic. The paranoia is more likely to make you sick than the actual bugs. Get in good immune boosting nutrition and then be nice to people.
- Avoid obsessing about the weather forecast, you cannot change it, you can only be well prepared.
- Do sleep. You will start feeling very awake and even a little hyper as the tiredness wears off. Don’t see this as a cue to go partying all night. Your body is busy repairing and your immune system is likely on the low side, best thing you can do to help it is to get good quality sleep.
Finally, give yourself a pat on the back for getting this far! You are a champion already!