What to do the week prior to your next big marathon
Leading up to any big marathon, I often get asked what you should do the week before your marathon. You’ve trained for months, and sometimes years, for this race and you just want it to be perfect. You’ll do anything that’s needed in order for you to hit your A-goal and you’re asking everyone for their advice and opinions on what you should do to maximize your potential to run a personal best. Having coached multiple USA Olympic Trails qualifiers in the marathon, I’d thought I’d share the advice I give to my marathoners.
The biggest, most important, piece of training advice that I make sure my marathoners follow is to ‘practice during practice’. Whatever shoes you plan on racing in, make sure you run in them for a few of your long runs. Whatever nutrition, gels, and liquids you plan on taking during your marathon, take during your long runs and marathon paced runs. Whatever you plan on eating the few days before your marathon, practice eating that same meal a few days before you biggest long runs during your marathon training cycle. The pace you should run the few days before your marathon should be similar to the pace that you run your easy runs the days before you do your “simulation workouts”. Everything that you plan on doing during race week and race day, should have been constantly occurring during your build up. With that said – Do not change one thing!
Everything that you’ve been doing, continue to do. You’ve had amazing long runs, tempos, simulations and thresholds with your current routine and you know that your body will respond positively to it. If you usually eat pasta two days before your long run and salmon the day before your long run – and you usually have great long runs; then do the exact same thing for your marathon. You know it works for you, why change it? Use the same nutrition during your marathon that you use during your long runs. You don’t know how your body and stomach will respond to a different type of gel – make sure you stock up on the ones you train with. If you happen to run out of your gel, then you may have to resort to taking something you aren’t used to. Any type of nutrition is better than no nutrition.
In addition, do not add anything new the few weeks leading to your marathon. If you wanted to try this new weightlifting routine a week before your marathon, I would advise to wait until after the marathon. Your body will not be used to these new movements and you’ll become sore in places that you’ve never were before. This will most likely hinder your marathon performance.
To conclude, do not change one thing! Keep the same routine that you’ve been doing and most importantly – believe in the process. You’ve gone this far and have been doing great on your long runs and workouts. There were some rough days where you might have not hit your paces or might have cut your workout short, but a few bad workouts do not define an entire training cycle. You’re more than ready to run your personal best and there will be thousands of people cheering for you out there.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below or send me an e-mail. I’d be more than happy to help you reach your goals!
Dr. Andres T. De La Cruz, D.C., CSCS
De La Cruz Chiropractic