Pre-race tips for a successful marathon
Within the framework of 35-45 miles per week, it is important to make changes in the quality or intensity of the individual runs. It is sometimes important to borrow from your days, gradually increasing the length of one of your runs. Your training schedule should have a long run, a run of moderate distance and several shorter runs. As time passes, the long run gets longer, but the total weekly mileage will remain the same with better recovery and less chance of injury.
During a normal training week, there should also be a short day when you run faster than normal, followed by a slow down for recovery.
Prior to the marathon, it is wise to take your last long 20-mile run two to three weeks before your actual marathon date and then start cutting down the long mileage. Find a 10K (6.2 miles) run for a good speed tune-up to gain a good race pace for the marathon.
It is important during pre-marathon week not to deplete carbohydrates, which would also deplete muscles of glycogen, and not to consume large amounts of protein for three days earlier in the week. This can also deplete muscle glycogen and could lower the runner's resistance to a cold. Therefore, consume light amounts of carbohydrates early in the week to keep up the body's resistance, and then increase the amount towards midweek to stay healthy for the big event.
- Don't wait until you get thirsty to drink water as it may be too late. Drink about 2-3 cups of water each hour to keep the body from dehydrating if it is a hot-weather marathon.
- Apply Vitamin A & D Ointment or Aquaphor ointment as a lubricant on places that the body might chafe, such as underarms, breasts and between the thighs.
- Always carry some form of identification in case an accident should occur. Also record any medical problems such as diabetes, asthma or allergies to penicillin.
- Be prepared with proper clothing for a race day that could be anything from cold and raining to hot and humid.
- Be honest and start where you belong in the pack, according to your pace and time. It will prevent you from being pushed into a pace that is too fast, which will lead to overstress and possibly not finishing at all.
In conclusion, keeping a good physical, mental and spiritual outlook throughout the 26-mile, 385-yard race will help a runner to a successful finish.