With the arrival of fall comes the excitement of lots of 26.2 races on the horizon! I have a few friends that will be rocking Chi-town, Portland, Twin Cities and other marathons this upcoming weekend. Your training has come to a close and you are tapering and getting your mind right for the big day! One of my coaching colleagues who also blogs over at Marathons n Martinis (check her out!) sent out some last minute tips to our running group so I thought I would make a little list of my own…so let’s hop to it…
-Go with what you know. Wear your trusty running shoes, go to race outfit, don’t change anything nutrition-wise. Now really is not the time to experiment with any new hot on the street fad diet.
-Check and double check that marathon checklist. Have everything packed in advance and ready to go a week out from your race. GUs, body glide (I have learned from experience that chafing is NOT your friend!), compression socks, all of your go to running gear should be stowed away and ready to go.
-Savor every moment! Make sure that you don’t get so caught up in the racing aspect that you miss the experience that IS the marathon. Hear the spectators cheering you on, take a look at the sights/nature/beauty along the course. Laugh at all of the crazy signs people hold up! High five people as you run past them and thank the volunteers for their service.
That you did.
-Write your name…mantra…power words where you (and others) can see them. It’s always nice to have your name on your shirt because it makes it super easy to call you out! In past races I always wished I had done this. It definitely helps when you reach those tougher times along the course! Or you can write some words of encouragement on your legs for that extra oomph…**boom boom firepower** anyone?
-CONSERVE that energy. The start of the race will be fun, exciting, and you will be pumped up with balls to the walls mojo. Slow your roll. Use the first half of the race to hold back on your pace a bit and just enjoy the course. Talk to those around you, listen to music, whatever and just chill…you have time to pick up the pace in the back half. And trust me…you will feel good around that time you are supposed to “hit the wall” if you are smart and utilize your energy correctly.
-Relax, and trust YOUR training. Your training is YOURS and no one else’s. Embrace that. Have confidence in yourself and in your abilities and know that if you got through these tough weeks of training, you can and will rock the 26.2 distance. The week before the race what will benefit you the most is to rest those legs and make sure they are fresh and ready to take on the course. One of my all-time favorite running quotes is one that my buddy Patton gave me years ago…and I have held onto it all of these years of racing. I wish I could frame it and put it on my wall at home because it’s helped me get through SO MANY races…and is just a great way to see dealing with overcoming challenges in life in general.
“Your ability to generate POWER, is directly related to your ability to relax.”
Good luck to all of those racing this upcoming weekend and during this fall marathon season!!
You got this.
Any last minute marathon tips you’d like to share?