The Final Countdown: Tips to Follow in the Days Leading Up to a Marathon

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

 

With the Cape Town Marathon a mere few sleeps away, it is quite normal for pre-event jitters to get the better of us. Unlike shorter distance events, a marathon takes weeks of preparation and dedication to successfully cross the finish line. Incorporating strength training, being conscious of one's nutritional intake and getting up at 5am on weekends for long runs just to prepare is no mean feat.  To reduce some anxiety in the days leading up to the race, I've compiled a list of tips to get you race ready.

 

Avoid the need to cram in missed kilometers

 

Work pressures or an injury could perhaps be reasons why you may have skipped a few runs on your training schedule. As a result, you may feel it necessary to squeeze in a quick long run before Sunday's race. Don't. That one workout won't add to your fitness levels. In fact, it may hinder your progress during the race. Your hard work has already been done. Don't jeopardize all your effort in these last few days. Now is the time to rest.

 

Boost your immune system

 

Remember to take your vitamins. Also eat food with high nutritional value. Carbo-load. Always wash your hands after visiting the toilet. For convenience, carry hand sanitizer in your handbag. Stay hydrated. Drink enough water during the day. Avoid alcoholic beverages. The dehydrating effects of excessive alcohol consumption may hinder your sleeping patterns.

 

Sleep. Sleep. Sleep.

 

With race nerves running rampant, you may not get a wink of sleep on the night before the event. Take the nights leading up to the race to get sufficient sleep. Sleep is important. Not getting enough rest will hamper your performance on race day. Stay off your feet. Relax.

 

Get your race gear ready

 

To avoid any chaos on the morning of the race, pack out your race gear the night before. Make a checklist if necessary.  A few essentials: race number (and pins), t-shirt, shorts, socks, shoes, sunscreen.

 

Avoid stress

 

Stumbling around, rushing to the race: this is the last thing you want before your race even starts. Wake up early. Have your breakfast. Leave home on time - get a lift if you must. Arrive at the race before the crowd. Take it easy.

 

Believe in yourself!

 

There will be a number of factors outside of your control come race day: the weather, the crowds, the traffic... On the flip side, there is one thing you can control: your belief in yourself. Have confidence in your abilities. The hours spent on the road, the effort exerted whilst training, all of these will shine through at the event. Find a mantra: Can't stop. Won't stop. Run strong. Be brave! Talk yourself to the finish line if you must. Just don't give up.

 

I hope that you've found these tips useful. All that's left is for me to wish you well. You've trained hard. The effort is not unnoticed. You are champions! I'll see you on the road!

Looking to ease those post-marathon muscles once you've completed the race? Book your session with Muscle Management today. Remember to like our Instagram and Facebook pages to be updated on our current rates and special offers.

 

Also be on the lookout for our next blog.

 

Until then, cheers!

 

 

References

 

  1. http://running.competitor.com/2014/09/training/the-final-marathon-countdown-15-expert-race-week-tips_112345

  2. https://www.verywell.com/marathon-day-before-tips-2911081

  3. http://www.runnersworld.com/marathon/26-tips-for-running-your-best-262

  4. http://running.competitor.com/2014/01/training/the-48-hour-countdown_7340

  5. http://running.competitor.com/2013/11/news/last-minute-pre-marathon-tips_88162

  6. https://runnersconnect.net/running-nutrition-articles/pre-race-marathon-nutrition/

  7. https://runnersconnect.net/running-training-articles/should-i-run-the-day-before-my-race/

  8. http://www.active.com/running/articles/10-race-day-preparation-tips

  9. https://www.takethemagicstep.com/training-exercise/families/two-days-before-the-marathon/

  10. http://healthland.time.com/2012/10/05/final-countdown-5-training-tips-for-the-final-weeks-before-a-big-race/

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