For many runners, the week before a key event can make or break their efforts on race morning. Reduced mileage leads to the jitters, anxiety about the race can impact sleep and eating the wrong food can ruin the efforts of the previous 3 months.
As runners, we always hear the adage, “Don’t try anything new on race morning.”
But that can often apply to the days and weeks leading up to a marathon or half marathon, too. Personally, I don’t mind trying something new, or different, if it makes sense. And it’s especially true if what you’ve done in the past has hurt, rather than help, your race.
More than anything, though, I’m methodical in preparation for marathoning.
Most important in my book is getting the proper rest leading up to a hard effort. In the week leading up to a marathon, I’ll go to bed a bit earlier each night as the big day approaches, aiming to have my most restful night the second night before the race (Thursday night for a Saturday race).
Of course, there are other important keys: trying to eliminate stress, eating and hydrating properly, and visualizing the race in your mind. If you’re traveling, there are added issues to think about. And, to cut down on stress, packing or organizing everything for race morning a couple days in advance.
For me, the key race is still 5 weeks away in Duluth, so my key preparation is long runs this weekend and 2 weeks from now. And, if all goes well, a strong effort in next weekend’s Fargo half marathon. All of that is predicated, though, on whether the chiropractor visit will help me log the type of run I need tomorrow.