Months of training have led to this. Soon you’ll be at the start line waiting for the gun to go off. So what should you be doing in the last 7 days?
When Should I Do My Final Long Run?
Depending on your tapering plan, your last significant run should be about a week before the race. It should be long enough to keep your body prepped for the 26.2 miles.
Setting up your training plan with RunKeeper™ will let you know how much you should run in the last week. But if you don’t have one, think about cutting your long run by about 50-60%.
What Should I Eat the Week of a Marathon?
You’ve probably been sticking to a strict diet for months, but in the last few days it’s a good idea to:
- include a variety of high-carbohydrate meals – keep it interesting and look to consume about 8-9 grams for every kilogram of body weight
- pack in vitamin C-rich food that helps you fight off coughs and colds
- cut back on fats and protein to balance out your higher carb intake
- avoid junk food like the plague – it’s packed with chemicals you really don’t need
How Much Should I Sleep in the Last Few Days?
A lot – get early nights for the whole week before your marathon.
However, remember it’s often 2 nights before your race when you get your best night’s rest. You might find it hard to fall asleep the night before because of nerves, but as long as you’ve rested up during the week you’ll be fine.
When Should I Get to the Marathon?
You don’t want to be stressed out, so give yourself a good amount of time to register, drop off your race day bag and get to the start zone.
Some runners like to arrive just in time because they don’t want to be standing around for too long – if this is your approach, judge it carefully since you don’t have much margin of error.
Should I Run the Day before My Marathon?
Every runner has a different theory when it comes to running the day before. Some think it promotes blood flow to your leg and reduces stress. Others think you should be resting up when there’s just 24 hours to go.
If you’re not sure which route to go down, don’t worry too much. You’re in great shape at this point, so a slow 1-3 miles won’t hurt, even if you realise a rest day is better for you. There’s always the next marathon to tweak your prep.
Is Worrying About the Race Normal?
It doesn’t matter if it’s your first marathon or your fiftieth, nerves can hit anyone. While it may be impossible to stay 100% serene during the week, at least make sure the little things are taken care of:
- Do your race day shopping early
- Work out a route to the marathon start
- Don’t constantly check the marathon website (it could stress you out more)
- Get your race kit washed, dried and packed
- Set 2 alarms the night before and ask for a wake-up call if you’re staying in a hotel
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