Everything you should be doing marathon week as you get prepared for your big day.
Success doesn’t come from what we do occasionally, it comes from what we do consistently.
This has been a theme during your entire marathon prep — you wouldn’t be able to run 26.2 miles on Sunday if you weren’t diligent and consistent in your training. So why shouldn’t that translate into the other aspects of your life, especially in the week leading up to the big day. Many times we hear carb loading the day or two before and getting a good night’s rest as the tips for a successful run. Read below on some specifics on how to best prepare yourself for the marathon ahead.
Get Adequate Rest!
It is obviously important to get a good night’s rest the night before the marathon,
but as much as possible, aim to get to bed at a similar time each night as you will on Saturday night to avoid jitters. Creating a bed time routine, focusing on relaxing your mind and body, and aiming for 8 hours will be extremely beneficial this week!
Decrease Stress Levels
This can be a tougher one for many of us, especially with city living! This week we want to reduce stress at all costs. If that means avoiding public transportation, avoiding that specific coworker, catching up on some Netflix, or even getting that bag of Peanut M&Ms at the end of the day — find the things that you know keep you relaxed and stress-free to make sure you’re best prepared to cross the finish line.
Avoid Strenuous Workouts/Activity
Most marathon training regimens will have you tapering in the last few weeks so that your body will have a chance to recover and optimize your metabolism so that you can most efficiently make your way through the marathon. What’s most important to know is that any long runs or heavy lifts at this point will only deplete the stores that your body needs and will ultimately not make any significant change in your performance on Sunday.
Drinking water just during the race is not enough to avoid being dehydrated. Our muscles and organs need water to be stored up to function on a daily basis and this store will need to be in excess especially knowing that you will likely be doing one of the most strenuous activities humanly possible.
This goes hand in hand with being well hydrated. Having adequate protein for our muscles to remain nourished and carbohydrates to build a glycogen (energy) stores are extremely important. Carbohydrates are important in the days leading up to the race so that we don’t hit a wall and can push through to the finish line. Be sure to have well balanced meals that allow you to get nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to be successful and energized on race day.
Be Realistic With Yourself
This is most important especially when running your first marathon. Be focused on finishing, set an attainable goal for yourself, and go enjoy yourself. Many times pushing yourself too hard can cause unnecessary aches and pain or make a current injury you might be nursing even worse. Set an attainable pace goal for yourself, look into pace setting groups, cadence apps/playlists, and don’t feel down if on race day, you find that you need to slow down.
Make Your Final Run As Similar To Race Day As Possible
This does not necessarily mean running at the same pace or anywhere near the same distance as your race day distance, but more along the lines of muscle memory. Are you planning on running with your phone in hand? An arm band? A fanny pack with snacks? Then make sure to try it out in your final run. Some people even prefer to try on their marathon outfit to make sure everything fits how you’ll need and maybe even run in it (and hopefully wash it before November 3rd!)
Most Important Tip
With these tips you’ll go into your race well nourished, well rested, and confident in how you’ll do. Get excited to wave to your friends and family, cross the finish line, get that medal and all the marathon gear, and to forever be able to say you ran in the 2019 NYC Marathon!