The Week Before The Marathon
Well hello friends. Now THIS was a beautiful weekend! The weather was perfect for racing which is exactly what I did! I was at the Albion Hills Conservation area for the 5 Peaks race. I will do a full recap on Friday along with a shoe review of the new New Balance trail shoe!
Right now, I am coasting into the last week before my marathon and the goal is to do as little as possible, aside from a few runs to keep fresh and keep my legs spinning at a good cadence. I am racing Stage 7 at the Endurrun for the H+P Girls team. I have worked hard to build my milage, incorporate tempo and interval workouts and take a weekly rest day. Now that I am one week away from the marathon, here is what I am planning on doing.
Golfing: I know it sounds ridiculous, but I am doing light exercise and stretches that keep my limber. I have a golf tournament with work this week and I am planning on riding in the golf cart instead of walking the holes which is what I normally do.
Light running: Emphasis on the light. I tend to over train so I am trying to go for short runs and nothing more. I have done the work, the most important thing I can do at this point is rest. I am running the same amount of days in training, I just am decreasing the distance and focusing on quality over quantity.
Sleep: I am planning on spending the time that I would have spent training in bed sleeping instead. Fingers crossed that it will actually happen.
One session with a tempo pace: It is important to get your legs ready to punch out that high gear. I am planning to do an easier run on Thursday with 1-2 KM at race pace.
Playing with my food: Until Thursday, I will focusing on eating low carb to optimize fat burning for the race and I will also be cutting out caffeine so I have a super natural jolt the morning of the race. So basically, life will be bleak until Thursday when I start upping carbs. Glycogen stores are something that are built up over time so 3 days out, I will be adding more rice, sweet potatoes and healthy carbs to my diet. I will be focusing on making carbs 80-90% of my intake with the last couple days being low in fibre. The day before the race, it will be simple carbs to make sure my glycogen stores are topped up.
Water: I will be making sure to stay hydrated as I sloth around this week. I want to make sure that I make it to race day with a full tank and feeling well. This is NOT a fast or easy marathon course and I want to do as well as I can.
Skipping strength training. There will be no muscular gains for me this week. Focusing on a full rest for muscles.
What did you do this weekend?
Have you run a marathon? What are the best and worst things you did one week out?
Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat says
Sounds like a great strategy to me! And nice one on the caffeine intake. I plan to do the same next week while I taper for SeaWheeze so that my Vega pre-workout energizer is super duper effective on race morning. Happy resting! 🙂
Thanks! Have a good final week of training before SeaWheeze! 🙂
I’m sorry life will be bleak until Thursday, but the addition of sweet potatoes to your diet sounds wonderful. I should make you that sweet potato casserole with toasted pecans on top! (Although, I think that would defeat the purpose of stocking up on healthy foods before the race… sugar and cream aren’t overly good in large quantities.)
A couple days before the race, I can eat almost anything I want. Bring on the casserole!! 🙂
Peter Mitchelmore says
I still haven’t got the marathon right, so I’m taking notes from you. The caffeine idea in particular is intriguing.
Ha Peter..I find it always is figuring it out as you go along. I am just following tips from those who are smarter than me! 🙂
Graham Dunn says
In terms of water and glycogen, salt is a water-magnet, and so is glycogen (~ 3:1 water:glycogen stored by weight), so salty carbs have the added benefit of increasing the amount of water you can store.
You can also add simple (less “healthy” in other circumstances) carbs, as they tend to be calorically denser, so you can eat more of them (white pasta / potatoes / rice).
I’ve heard arguments for both sides as to whether abstaining from caffeine until the race helps (your tolerance does decrease over 72 hours) or doesn’t make a difference (your perceived improvement is really just overcoming your withdrawal pains :). There’s also the argument that ergogenic levels of caffeine start at ~3 mg/kg body weight, which is something like three or four cups of coffee at once, so it’s beyond your normal intake anyways. But as with everything else, nothing new on race day, so don’t start experimenting now 🙂
See you out there on Sunday!
THis is SO GOOD Graham! I maybe wasn’t clear on this, but when I mentioned simple carbs the day before the race, I will be loading up on the less healthy carbs to make sure I don’t have too much fibre in my system.
I am not sure how the caffeine thing will pan out. I like to experiment. 😛
Good luck and thanks for the advice. I love it!