It’s nearly marathon time!
It’s time to taper.
You know you can do the long runs, the fast runs, the hills.
The next two weeks are all about reducing your runs, keeping it slow and steady.
It’s time to help your body recover from the intense training you’ve been putting it through and get it in optimum shape for the main event.
Restoring glycogen stores, repairing damaged tissue and mentally preparing.
So what are the most important factors for success in the last couple of weeks?
Keep it slow and steady
Your training plan should have you tapering by now, gradually reducing your runs by 20-25% and easing off the pace. People often worry this will affect their ability to get their distance back up – it won’t. It’s cleverly designed to help your body repair and restore both mentally and physically.
It’s not time to party just yet. Get plenty of sleep and rest where possible. Pick quiets nights in front of a movie over hitting the town.
People often think meditation is all about sitting crossed legged and humming (I know I did!) but it’s really not about that. Meditation can be as simple as giving yourself some time away from the craziness of work, kids, and life in general to relax and visualise the race. Plan it out in your head, picture yourself perfectly pacing, the crowds encouraging you along and the finish line. If nothing else, deep centred breathing will help your muscles with their recovery and you’ll get 20 minutes to yourself!
Keeping hydrated should be a daily goal. If you haven’t already, get into the habit now of sipping water regularly throughout the day to keep you topped up. If you’re waiting until you feel thirsty you’re leaving it too late.
Rice, pasta, potatoes, oats, bread (even the white stuff is OK at this point as it’s easy to digest). If fruit is your thing take it steady – the fibre in fruit can affect your tummy mid-race – don’t blow your sub 4 hour target in the portaloo queue!
And remember you can’t get all the glycogen into your muscles in one meal – small, carb heavy meals in the days leading up to the race are better than trying to stuff it all in the night before!
Sort your kit
Make sure you’ve run in the exact outfit you’re wearing on the day – even down to the pants and socks. It’s amazing how your ‘old faithfuls’ can turn into sandpaper at mile 19!
Don’t forget the Vaseline, plasters, gels, safety pins and comedy horses head too!
Take it Steady
It’s all too easy to let things slip now that the end goal is in sight, so take care and don’t let the weeks and months of training go to waste.
A last minute injury would be devastating.
With all of this in mind, it’s worth ensuring you’ve got an ICEtag attached to your trainers.
Although we’re seeing more and more runners pounding the streets in recent weeks you’re probably still training alone (because there a few people crazy enough to attempt a marathon - well done you!) so if you did have an accident and couldn’t communicate could anyone help you? Would they know who you are, who to contact or any medical needs you may have?
ICEtags are lightweight, personalised and very low cost (just £4.20!) but contain all the important information about you and your next of kin that a first responder would need to help you if the worst did happen.
A worthwhile investment don’t you think? If you want further proof that ICEtags work - have a read of a real life survivors story here!
From everyone here at ICEtags – we wish you the best of luck, hope you enjoy it and we look forward to hearing your marathon stories on the other side!