It’s finally here, the week we have all waited for, or dreaded, to each there own. ITS MARATHON WEEK!!! Sixteen weeks of training all for this one day! Are you freaking out, IM NOT FREAKING OUT IT MUST BE YOU, YOU’RE FREAKING OUT!?!? To calm everyone down I thought I would share my race week tips for getting ready for a big race or in my case the Philadelphia Marathon.
A week before: Seven days before plenty of time right? Wrong it’s never to early to start preparing.
• Wear the outfit you want to wear for the race during your last long run: I thought I was going to wear one pair of tights, but I discovered that these rubbed me the wrong way, if you catch my drift. Also if it is supposed to rain during your race make sure you try out your raincoat/ windbreaker/ bad weather gear, even if it is sunny.
• Pick and pack your fuel. Sure it might be a week before, but my fuel is Gummy Bears, if someone in my house gets a sweet tooth I lose my fuel. This also ensures that one part of your packing is out of the way.
• Make plans. I’m not talking post race, I’m talking pre race getting there and running plans. Is it in a city? Do you have to reserve a parking garage? Also plan your pace, I have three plans. One if I come out too fast, one if it’s windy and one if in not feeling it. These plans give me peace of mind, and they let me work out the worst situations.
• Diet- This is the important times, keep in mind that you are running a marathon in a week. Cut out bad nutrients and try to add extra vitamins/ anything that can fight a cold. This is prime sick time, your stressed and you have a major event coming up, it would be awful if you caught a cold.
• Keep your training light and familiar. If you have been doing more that 75% of your runs on the road don’t go do a 10 mile trail run. You don’t need to twist an ankle or be sore in ways you didn’t think you could be sore for the marathon.
• Pack or gather your accessories. Yes this means you might have to finish your training runs without your fuel belt. I like to pack these early in the week and put them in one place so when I’m going crazy the night before the race I know where they all are.
• If your traveling, hello pack! If you’re getting on a plane this should have been done the weekend before. Make sure everything is clean and ready to go!
• Still keep health in mind. That 12 patty cheeseburger can wait till next week, trust me. But start carb loading.
2 days to the day before: Panic, definitely panic
• Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate… With water. You worked so hard, don’t ruin it by binge drinking and being hungover, you want to stay in the best shape. Exceptions, if you can’t sleep I always recommend one glass of wine.
• Carbs are key, fiber is not. Remember you need carbs to fuel your body, but you don’t want to be running for a bathroom so maybe skip the extra fiber one bars.
• Get s massage/ schedule a recovery massage. I’m getting one on Saturday morning at 9 am when my race is on Sunday, but I have tight hips and this is the only thing that helps. And after the race in going to St. Lucia for a week. If you’re not this lucky, make sure you stretch.
• Pick you your race packet early, if you can do it earlier in the week you can try the free samples at the expo, if you can’t, save the samples for after the race.
Night before: Try not to panic
• Lay out everything. Take the stereotypical pre race clothes and accessory staging picture, it actually helps! This will let you see if you forgot anything, post it online, send it to your running friends, trust me they will be the first ones to say hey you’re missing socks, silly!
• Cut your toe nails. Yes, do it.
• Try and sleep. Yes I know you have biggest race of your life tomorrow. But sleep. You need it.
• Breakfast- something.bagel with peanut butter, toast, whatever you practiced for.
• Nothing new on race day- not socks, not a headband, definitely not a shirt. Keep it old school, things that are tested and true.
• Get to your race early, can’t pass up the opportunity for fresh porta potties
• Breathe. It’s almost race time, it’s okay, you got this you trained for this. Remember your plans, stick to them.
Post race- YOU FREAKEN DID IT
• Have a beer, have a mimosa, have a nap. Congrats you did it.