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Final Week Before the Marathon

It’s my last marathon feature before Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon and I hope you all are deep in taper crazies.

I wanted to speak a little to the last week before the marathon. I did a feature on the final week in August, but I wanted to explore a little bit of the psychological side and a few things I learned from the last round.

  • One thing that you must must must keep in mind is that your work is done. Any running you do this week is to sharpen your legs for the race, but the training is over. I ran maybe three times total the final week before my marathon, with one sharpening run where I did a 2 KM tempo at marathon pace.
  • The day before, do as little as possible. As in, don’t even stand for too long. I personally spent the day in bed, watching movies and eating pancakes.
  • Carb load begins long before the night before. I have even heard it suggested that the bulk of the carb loading should be complete by 1 PM the day before the marathon and the night before, it is best to eat a normal sized dinner and get a good sleep.
  • I said it before, but it bears repeating - spend the time that you would spend training, in bed sleeping this week.
  • Spend some time thinking about what you are about to do, how much it will hurt and how much time you have put into preparing for it. I actually even picked a song the week before and would play it through, visualizing my marathon at my most difficult moments and imagining how I would react. This was the song I chose:

I truly do think it worked as my marathon went as smoothly as it could have. I was relaxed, happy and positive even when I was really hurting. Knowing I did all I could to prep myself nutritionally, physically and psychologically was a huge help to feeling confident on race day.

  • If you feel like you are eating too much, resting too much and sleeping too much the week before, you are probably doing it right. It is fine to get to the starting line well rested, a couple pounds heavier than you train at and alert. The extra weight is telling of well fuelled muscles that are holding water and glycogen – basically, it means they are ready to take you the distance!

Wishing everyone who is tapering a fantastic final week before the big race. For my Canadian friends, have a wonderful time celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving today.

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Taken from my Instagram. 

I have arrived safely in Mexico and am spending my days in the sun, playing in the waves, doing some intense open water swims in the ocean and eating ALL the Mexican food as it is my top favourite cuisine of life.

And doing a whole lot of this:

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What is your favourite way to relax during a taper?

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Thanksgiving

Fact: I do not love everything about running.

I hate the aftermath of a huge race. This is what I am struggling with this week:

1. Not being able to run. With out intense stabs of pain in one or 10 parts of my legs, feet, calves, etc…I miss it. I have done laps in the pool like a little fish, ellipticalled like a hamster on a wheel, and countless other things to keep my ADHD-like personality at bay. I do it all with one thought ” Running is better.”

2. Not being able to wear heels.

3. Loss of the ability to syphon in exorbant quantities of food.

I have been turning my focus elsewhere however, school. Yesterday, I awoke at 5 am to go to campus and start studying. I was there until 8 pm. I still feel like I didn’t get everything accomplished. I wish there was a magical potion you could take where you could not sleep and still function.

O right, they already have it, it’s called coffee.

I am behind in school because of this last weekend, which was Canadian Thanksgiving. My favourite dinner of the three was not even with my family. (Don’t read too much into that, my family is great. But as much as I enjoyed piling onto the “Gator” with everyone, including Grandma…and dashing through rivers in the flats which has become a Thanksgiving tradition…

……my favourite dinner was a little heavier on the culture and lighter on the mud puddles)

My friend on exchange from France, Amandine, invited me to her house for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, which is ironic because Europeans do not celebrate Thanksgiving and I was the only Canadian present. Her friends from Switzerland were visiting and she wanted us to meet.

My friends from Switzerland and Iran were there as well and we all sat around a coffee table loaded with appetisers, chicken and cranberry sauce. Amandine and her friends had walked to the farmers market that morning to buy everything and watched a YouTube video on how to carve a chicken. We sat in a circle with our plates on our laps and our plates loaded with sweet potato puree and fresh beans, our conversation a tangle of French and English which was perfect practice for me.

Dessert was three kinds of pie …I know :) … and when it was over, my new Swiss friends told me to look them up for a couple of weeks when I am in Europe and they will take me to the Alps on a snowboard trip.

Now THAT is something to be thankful for.