I suspect right now you’re waking up thinking how did it get to be one week before the marathon? It probably only seems a week or two since you were digging out your thermals and starting your training and all of a sudden, your marathon is within touching distance.
Two weeks ago, I spoke about dealing with maranoia and last week I spoke about changing your focus so you were planning all the useful stuff for the race like making sure you’ve got all your gels, drinks, plasters etc and starting to think about when to go to registration and knowing what your target pace should feel like.
It’s common for nerves and excitement to be at fever pitch and the slightest thing might just tip you over the edge. The important thing is to rest as much as you can, do a few easy-paced runs to keep the legs ticking over but largely allow your body to get into the best shape it can be for the race. It’s good to keep your mind busy to stop yourself panicking from things like you haven’t run much or if you’ll have forgotten how to run on race day.
Planning Your Journey
It’s good to begin planning your journey for race day so make sure you’ve printed off any necessary travel documents and also think about where you’re going to eat the night before the race and how you’re going to get to the start on race day. You’ve been meticulous with your training and it’s good to be the same with your preparation as the last thing you need is to be panicking over something silly so close to the race. This can be planning what you want to wear to the start and put on the baggage lorry so that you can have it after the race if you need it. I usually have a hoody and a drinks bottle with recovery shake powder in so I’ve got a warm top if it’s cool and a drink that just needs water added.
Visualise Your Finish
This is a good time to start thinking of the kind of run you want to have. An easy way to do this is to visualise you running to the finish line, be as detailed as you can then plan your run the rest of the way so you can make it happen.
Plan Your A, B and C
You will likely have a target time in mind but it’s worth creating a B and C target alongside your A one. Your A target is obviously the time you have in mind and a B target would be a time that would be great if A doesn’t work out and C would be the time you would settle for right now. You should ALWAYS aim for your A target as that’s what your training has been geared towards but sometimes races don’t turn out the way we want them to. I wrote in my personal blog about the Paris Marathon where my A target was sub 3hrs 15mins but an injury disrupted my training so in the first half of the race I thought I could manage sub 3:30 (my B target) but in the last 10 miles, the temperature shot up, got really hot and ended up finishing in 3:48. I would have taken 3:48 before the start as I hadn’t had a decent run since I got a PB in a Half Marathon 4 weeks out. There are things you can control during a race – hydration, nutrition, how you feel but there are things you can’t control – weather – so it’s worth creating these other times so you don’t become disheartened if you didn’t hit your A time.
Your main goal should be to enjoy the experience of the marathon and not get too bogged down with pressure of running to a certain pace. Trust your fitness, your legs won’t have forgotten how to run on the day and you will have a great run.
Coming Up on Saturday – Preparing for Race Day