The Melbourne Marathon is a big deal for lots of runners. If you have entered you only have 2 weeks and 2 days until race day and you should be starting to think about how to maximise your chances of everything going right. As a keen mountain bike rider with an interest in endurance events (my goal is to complete 6 x 3hr events each year) I can tell you that preparation and planning is everything. Here are my top 5 tips to help make Sunday October 16th your best so far:
- Taper off: With only 2 weeks to go you should have done your longest run last week or it is scheduled for this week sometime. I know the wet weather has affected many runners training schedules, but it is a mistake to try and “fit in” a long session 1 week prior to race day – it doesn’t give your body enough time to repair the micro-damage to muscles and tendons and build up your energy wells. Trust me – I’ve tried it and it doesn’t work.
- Don’t neglect nutrition: I have been slow to get this aspect of my performance sorted and only recently have I got some good advice about fluid, electrolyte and carbohydrate intake for endurance events. Briefly, you should know how much fluid and carbohydrate you should be consuming per hour of racing – this is based on your bodyweight. Once you know this, design a plan to make it happen. For example, you might decide to finish 1 water bidden and 1 gel per hour of running, and save the caffeine gel for the final stretch.
- Stretch it out: After weeks or months of training your soft tissues will be shortening, so get into your lower limb stretches or foam rolling regularly over the next 2 weeks. A remedial massage next week is ideal to check everything is moving well and you don’t have any hidden problems.
- Check your equipment: Running requires relatively simple equipment – the right shoes, clothing, hat, watch and perhaps a running belt. Don’t use anything in a race you haven’t tested in training and go through a checklist to make sure you are happy with your gear. By doing this you don’t have to worry on the day about your equipment and you can focus on your performance.
- Enjoy it! Its normal to be apprehensive on race day – you want everything to go right. At the start line take a deep breath, relax a little and remember you run because you love it. After the first 1-2 km you should find your rhythm – if not you may be pushing too hard so back off a bit and enjoy the run!
If you have any concerns about your body before Melbourne Marathon please call Mary for an appointment – we can check how everything is going and if you have a painful problem work out how best to help you