Here are our top tips for Marathon runners the week before the big race!!
Over the past few months we have seen lots of marathon runners in the clinic with aches and pains that threatened their marathon training, and their ability to make the start line.
‘Nothing new”! It’s essential the week before the marathon not to start anything ‘new’. Keep to your routines – if you normally go to bed at 10pm, then don’t change it now. The week before the race is not the time to try new shoes, a new hydration drink, energy gel or a new racing shirt purchased at the Expo. If it hasn’t been tested through the rigours of your training don’t do it!
Relax- there is no physiological benefit the week before the race to do any significant training and you won’t lose your fitness if you don’t run much! . All the hard work is done and you need to rest your legs but keep mentally stimulated (to help avoid getting anxious!). Go about your normal routine, but get off your feet whenever possible. Run according to your training plan – taper and relax.
Sleep! To run the marathon you need to have slept well the week before. Have a bath 30 minutes before you want to go to sleep and stay off your laptops in the evening! You may struggle to sleep much the night before the marathon especially if it’s your first one, but don’t worry this is normal. Make sure you get some good sleep 2-3 days before race day.
Study the course: Maybe run, bike, or drive (difficult in London!) a portion of the course. This will help familiarise yourself with the route and will help you psychologically on the day. It’s always good to know where you’ll hit some hills and how frequent the water stops and porta-potties are!
Food! You should be eating about 65-70% of your calories from carbs in the days leading up to your race. Don’t stuff yourself at dinner the night before. People say: “too much ‘loading’ can lead to ‘unloading’ during the race.” Poor choices for carbo-loading tend to be high-fat foods such as French fries, crisps, doughnuts, buttery croissants, creamy pasta meals and cheesy pizzas. Good choices are oats, basmati rice, pasta with tomato-based sauces, English muffins, wholemeal toast and plenty of fruit and vegetables. But again…’nothing new.’ Make sure you go with what you have trained with and your body is used to.
We wish everyone running the London Marathon or other marathons this year the best of luck! If you have any burning questions about your preparation then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.