Its the week before the biggest marathon in Ireland.
For the first timers you may be feeling a little nervous & wondering if you should do more this week. First off, its taper time!That means letting your body rest & recover so that you feeling your best for race day.There are some things you can do over the next week to help you feel good on race morning.
- Eat well between now & race day. Because you have reduced your training load over the last couple of week, you also need to reduce the volume of food your eating. Calories in / calories out! Ensure you are eating good quality food with plenty of protein & veggies. Fuel your body & mind!No need to start carb loading yet (if thats your plan).
Hydrate well. Aim for a minimum of 2 litres of water per day. If you are dehydrated starting the race your pace will suffer & you may find your legs feel heavy. Don’t go overboard though as this can lead to other problems.
Sleep, aim to go to bed earlier than you usually, even 30 min extra over 6 nights is an extra 3 hours sleep. You may not sleep well the night before so at least you will know that you have ‘sleep’ already banked.
Lay out your kit,take a photo of it so you dont forget anything on race day (especially important if you are staying away from home the night before. Ensure you have a spare top that you can throw away at the start & warm clothes/shoes to be left in the baggage area to wear after your race.
For the 2 days before start to increase your carbs slightly, (if your carb loading). You dont need to overload though, its not an excuse to eat everything in sight!Make your morning/ afternoon snack a carb based snack.
Eat your main meal the day before at your usual time.
If your staying away from home book a restaurant or you could be left eating a very late meal or food you are not used to. On that point ensure you eat food you have tried and knows works for you. This varies from person to person.
Have a race day breakfast plan in place & stick to it. Do not change anything on race day.
Allow enough time to get to your start area, (dropping a bag in the the baggae area can take 20 mins so allow enough time. Also if you need a portaloo remember you may be in a Q with 1000 others so again allow enough time.
Are you planning on eating/drinking anything before the start of the race?
Do you know how often, when & what you will take on to help fuel your race & how you are going to carry it?
Have you checked out the route? Water stops are usually every 3 miles/5km until approx 18 miles then you will have the additon of an energy drink stop & gels available too.Water is usually in 250 mls bottles so are easy to carry with you but try to dispose of carefully. Portaloos are usually at every water stop too.
Stick to your nutrition plan, dont try something new on race day because someone else told you they do something different, (they will have practiced this).
If you plan on meeting family/friends/supporters along the route have a position picked & also make sure to pick a side of the road they will be on.
When the race gets tough (and it will) feed off the energy of the crowds, the support is amazing!
Enjoy the race, enjoy the atmosphere, enjoy the after race celebrations.
Eat well, feet up & recover well. Feel free to share with your running friends & ask any questions. Jackie.