1) Reduce volume but maintain intensity and frequency of training.
Cut mileage by approx. 50-60% during the taper. Do not dramatically reduce the training pace or number of days training. Any quality sessions will focus on marathon specific pace.
2) Shorter visits to the dinner table
As the training load declines, the calorie requirement also drops. Amend portion sizes accordingly.
However carbo loading in the final 48 hours is very much recommended.
3) Avoid sick people. Period
Stay well clear of anyone who looks remotely ill. Work colleague’s, family or partners. They will still love you after the marathon is over… A flu or bug at this point is a catastrophe
4) Eat clean – Sleep loads
Tighten up every aspect of diet. Lots of vegetables, salad, fruit & green tea… all the good stuff.
Sleep is the best performance enhancer of all so make sure to get extra in the days before the race
5) Control the top 6 inches
The body is well trained from the shoulders down. From the shoulders up is where problems occur at this point. Focus on the positives. Avoid negative thoughts. Don’t worry about factors outside of your control. Positive Positive Positive…. Except your drug test.
6) Know the course
Get familiar with the route, in particular the hills. Know when to expect the inclines and aim to keep an even effort rather than even pace when negotiating the lumpy parts of the race.
7) Ice Bath & Massage
Ice baths, cryotherapy spa’s or a deep tissue massage are great tools to freshen tired legs. Any massage should be at least 4 days in advance. Cold therapy can be used right up to race morning.
8) Get in and out of the marathon expo ASAP
After picking up the race number it’s very easy to spend hours wandering around the Marathon Expo, wasting energy and exhausting your legs.
Any more than 30 minutes is too long. Don’t leave your PB in the RDS.
9) The First Mile – If it feels right, it’s probably too fast
Damage done by running the first mile too quickly cannot be undone. Be very conscious of starting slowly.
10) Be mentally prepared for something to go wrong
Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance…. But it does not prevent mini crisis along the way.
Be ready for all eventualities. At least one hiccup is guaranteed.
Forgetting your racing shorts, waking up late, unable to get the planned food, needing a mid-marathon toilet break or simply feeling crap early in the race. Be assured that something will go wrong. How the problem is dealt with will determine the magnitude of its effect.