This is the third in a 3 part series on marathon training following Forever Runner principals.
Last week, I talked about modifying conventional marathon training training plans to be more Forever Runner friendly so you don't over train and get injured.
Today I’ll go over pre-race preparation and race day.
There are a few pre-race items that will increase your confidence and reduce your stress on race day. Simple things like double checking directions, driving time, parking arrangements, drop bags and check-in procedures are important. Hopefully, you are familiar with the sport drink provided if you are planning on using it. You don't want to try a new fuel on race day. And don't forget to check on porta-potti locations on the course. I've had that issue in the past and knowing where to stop allowed me to not get anxious and plan accordingly.
The day before the race should be a day of relaxation, if it's a travel day, take frequent walk breaks when you can and stay hydrated. There is no need to carbo load the day before. I remember following complected 4 day carbo loading protocols that now, as a fat adapted runner, are unnecessary. A little extra carbs at dinner are fine, but be sure to eat something you're used to and get to bed early.
On race day, just like training, you don't necessarily need to eat before the event. If you have enough time, a small breakfast 3 hours before the start won't hurt you. Eating a meal just before racing diverts energy to digestion and can lead to stomach distress later on. To bypass this, pop a gel 10 minutes before the start to take the edge off.
Even though you are about to run for 3 or 4 hours or more, it's still important to warm up your muscles and get the blood flowing through all those small capillaries before the start. Budget about 10 minutes for a dynamic warm-up and/or slow jog just before the start.
After the start, stick to your plan and don't go out too fast because you're feeling so good for the first few miles. You should be able to comfortably run faster than your MAF training pace but you don't have to watch your heart rate during the race. Pace groups are helpful for keeping you honest if the race provides them. Enjoy the first 20 miles of the race and try not to run too hard on the uphills or too fast on the down hills. Stay hydrated and take a gel every 30 - 45 minutes for energy. Save your energy for that last 6 miles, that's when you want to push.
Follow these simple tips and you should have a successful marathon. If you have any comments or questions, post them in our Facebook Group. And of course, if these tips helped your marathon experience, let us know in the group.
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