The week before marathon can be one that leaves you anxious, full of nerves and a little stressful.
Preparing the little things for race day can help reduce some of those negative feelings.
Here are some important "To-Do's" that you should redirect your focus to during that crucial week!
The week before marathon. Don’t try any new diets or foods.
You don't want to throw any curve balls in your diet right before you run your marathon.
Adding something new into your nutrition plan could end up being detrimental to your race.
Also, don't forget to eat all your fruits and vegetables, those complex carbohydrates.
They will be so beneficial helping supply you with energy before your marathon.
The more the better.
Drinking water has been proven to reduce injuries. We don't want any injuries the week before marathon day!
Also known as including a taper week!
This week before marathon is all about relaxing, rejuvenating, carbo-loading and looking forward to a great race.
To allow your muscles to rest and recover from training induced damage that has occurred throughout training.
Also, you want to restore glycogen levels to their maximum capacity.
This is vital before a big race, particularly the marathon as your body depends on carbohydrates when you run.
These just might help to get you psyched up for the race. (I personally love Spirit of the Marathon and Chariots of Fire.)
You don’t want to be frantically running around at the last minute next week trying to get everything together.
You need to stay focused then and not be feeling overwhelmed. Now is the time to get things together.
Even if you are not going out of town you will still need some items for the race so start going after them…now!
Get your Free Race Packing List - Downloadable Version
It would be a good idea to do this before you start training so that you are more aware of how to train but if you haven't check it out now so you are not too surprised come race day.
In particular, look at what the elevation is like and where the aid stations are placed.
If you are one of those runners who need music while running then make sure to get your perfect playlist together before the race!
Put songs in order from favorite to most favorite. That way, towards the end of the race you will get to listen to your absolute favorite songs. Added motivation! Also, podcasts and audio-books make for great listens.
How many songs should you have on your playlist?
Well if you run about 9 minutes per mile for 13.1 miles, and an average song is 3 minutes long then you will need about 40 songs.
Double that amount for the marathon. This number will obviously change depending on your pace and length of song so plan accordingly.
Nothing weighs you down more than negative thoughts and for that matter, negative people.
If you haven't done so yet, plan out your mental race strategy using our guide, the 20 Week Develop Your Marathon Mindset Workbook. It will help you develop a mantra, teach you how to deal with negative thoughts during a race, how to handle pain during the later miles, and work through any race details.
You want to be sure that you have packed appropriate running clothes.
Know where it starts and finishes so that you can meet your family and friends at a pre-determined spot.
Whether it’s from your hotel or a parking lot you don’t want to be left behind.
Get those times written down before marathon morning!
Increase your carbohydrate intake so that you successfully avoid the wall during the marathon and are able to stay on goal pace. (Don’t be too excessive.)
Also, be sure to check out our carbo-loading guide and download your FREE carbo-loading package which contains a list of high carb foods to eat, a sample menu plan, and a space to plan your carbo-loading menu.
These will have a negative effect on your running making you feel sluggish.
You still need to be getting your recommended daily amount –
approximately 50 grams per day depending on your body size but focus on carbohydrates. Protein will take an important role in your recovery after the marathon.
You made it through most of the week before marathon and its now T-24 hours!
Here's what you should focus on!
Also, drink 8-16 ounces of an electrolyte drink. If you are traveling to the half marathon destination by plane make sure that you are keeping your water close to you as those high altitudes really cause you to become dehydrated fast.
After you are warmed up, get some dynamic stretching in and clear your mind. Try to keep your body relaxed and free of tension.
Some races will allow you to pick up your race packet on the morning of a race however some don’t so figure it out. Find out when you can pick it up.
This registration packet will include your race bib, to be pinned on your t-shirt and your time chip, which might need to be tied to your shoes or is included on your race bib.
A lot of races will offer a spaghetti dinner the night before a race. This is a great opportunity to meet up with some runners and get your carbohydrate fix.
If you are making your own pasta or rice meal, go easy on the sauces. Most sauces contain a lot of fat (think creamy white Alfredo sauce…not a good idea).
Shirt, bottoms, socks, shoes, jacket, energy bar, watch, hair ties, etc.
Remember be prepared! There is nothing more annoying then feeling rushed and unprepared while trying to get to the starting line.
Those safety pins that were on your packing list…yes, you may need them if you did not get any in your registration bag.
A good tip is to weave your shoe laces through the holes of the chip so that you do not lose it while you are running. (Some races make you pay for lost or un-returned time chips.)
A lot of races now have chips in their bibs so you may not receive one.
Have a backup plan in case it does not go off.
Maybe somebody else can wake you up or call you. Don’t think it won’t happen to you. There have been more than a couple people late for a race.
Or at least the best that you can. Many runners experience pre-race excitement that can keep them up to all hours of the night.
Try and clear you mind, keep your eyes close and at least let your body relax even if your mind won't.
Good luck with your race! I would love to hear how it goes!
I'll send you my free 24 Hour Timeline Checklist of Things You Should Do After a Long Run when you sign up!