It’s March, which means marathon season is here–are you ready? Even if you’ve trained all winter for your race, there are still some last minute pointers to consider before the big day arrives. Here are some great tips to help you through your last two months of marathon training:
Mimicking the course is, by far, the most beneficial training to do (if possible) because it helps train your body to perform well on the specific type of terrain. Get to know what type of terrain you will be working with during the actual marathon and do your best to mimic what it will actually be like while you train. If you will be running in New York City, run up and down a lot of hills. If you are running a marathon in Chicago, practice long runs on flat ground.
Training on your own is fantastic and necessary, but you should also take part in a half-marathon for valuable practice. Half marathons will help you better prepare yourself for what lies ahead. After completing the half-marathon, you will not only feel accomplished and confident, but you will also find out exactly where you need to focus your training before the full marathon arrives.
Have you ever drastically changed your routine on a weekend–like staying up until 3:30 a.m. and waking up at noon–and had a hard time adjusting back to your normal routine come Monday? It’s much easier to adjust and be successful when your body and internal clock are on the same schedule. Run at the same time of day that your marathon will be taking place. For instance, if your marathon will be starting at 8am, then practice running every day at 8am.
Stretching keeps your muscles loose and will reduce the risk of injury before, during, and after the race. Therefore, be sure to stretch before and after each practice run to ensure your body will be totally ready for race day.
When practicing on your home fitness equipment, use the incline feature on your treadmill. Practicing hills will essentially make the flat parts of the race feel like a piece of cake.
In order to give your body the most realistic experience of the marathon while training, drink while running. Whatever drinks you plan to drink during the actual marathon (Gatorade, water, energy gel, etc.) practice drinking and running with the same drink.
During the last three days of your training, focus on eating a ton of carbohydrates. Foods such as pasta, bread, potatoes, etc. are rich in complex carbohydrates, which will provide you with much-needed energy for race day.
Don’t plan on doing an intense warm-up the day of the race. Instead, just take a brisk walk for about fifteen minutes to get your body ready while conserving your energy for the real race.
It’s much easier to keep track of laps accomplished as opposed to miles. This strategy will help build confidence and give you a sense of accomplishment without the mental strain of calculating miles.