RACE DAY PLAN
The Chicago Marathon on October 7, 2018 is fast approaching. Here are a few important elements you will want to make sure are a part of your final few weeks. After all, having a great race day requires a great plan!
REST IS KEY
The first step in your plan is rest. Make sure you get enough sleep. Seven hours or more is usually adequate for most adults. Getting less than that amount can add up to excessive fatigue – and this can lead to over use of caffeine and energy drinks to stay awake during the day. I wake up early for my runs and workouts, and these can suffer with minimal sleep. If you have fallen into a pattern of not sleeping as much as you need, work hard to make this happen the days leading up to the race.
REDUCE YOUR MILES
Next, taper down on mileage. Your hard workouts and long miles should be behind you at this point. Tapering helps avoid injury and enhances recovery towards the end of a training plan. A gradual reduction in weekly miles translates to running the same number of days per week, but cutting back your distance 20-30% each week as race day approaches. Keep your workouts shorter, but just as fast, during the taper. The taper can start 2-4 weeks out from race day.
Lastly, nutrition plays a big role. Concentrate on healthy meals and snacks with a mix of protein, healthy fats, vegetables, and carbohydrates. Carb loading for race day starts at least a week prior to race day. You should increase the percentage of carbohydrates in your diet significantly to build up stores in your liver and muscles. This is the fuel you will need to make it all 26.2 miles.
ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, GO!
In general, keep things predictable and stick closely to what has worked for the past several months. This applies to your meals, shoes, running routes, and daily routine. The hard work is done. It is time to enjoy what you have been working towards!
My last entry will be after the race. I will let you know how things went and what to expect after a race is over.