The week out from a marathon is one of the best for any runner. 99% of hard sessions are banked so the running is quite minimal. Rest and relaxation are major priorities and of course eating gets taken to another level. This doesn’t mean it’s a free for all with whatever you like, being selective I feel is still important. Staying clear of ‘adapted or processed’ foods is very important but sometimes the ‘ideal’ is not practical for a modern lifestyle. As we teach young kiwi’s at school a balance is the best approach. I heard a simple and clever analogy about this the other day. Your body is like a car and it needs to get the right petrol to go.
For my race day fuel I’ve chopped, changed and trialled various things but have had good success with ‘snakes’ recently. Just the packet you can get from the supermarket, I forget the brand but they come in a white packet. I always train with things to make sure I don’t have issues with my stomach. The snakes work wonders too as they can be chopped into little segments, wrapped up in cling film and shoved into my little key pocket inside my shorts. I’ve raced with dried apricots (not anymore but still take on long runs), jet planes (too such of a mouthful in the heat of the moment). I haven’t bought into the concept of gels yet and believe that you can get what your body needs from other avenues, for how can I say….much less $$$$. However, we are all very different and the main thing is to simulate what you’ll have on race day…several times (whatever it may be). I tend to simulate the whole day, from weeks out. What time I’ll get up in the morning, what I’ll eat, strength of coffee to brew and what stretching to do.
We all have our little routines and rituals so I’m confidently putting these out there full well knowing that some people have some very abnormal routines. Many of these begin the evening before and run through until the queue for the portaloos. Sport produces many of these rituals and cricket springs to mind as being a classic. I recall hearing that Alec Stewart (former English wicket keeper/batsman) would always put the left side of his clothing/protection on first; left shoes, sock, pad, glove etc. Being a budding wicket keeper myself I thought this was a great idea and began doing so. Safe to say he had much more success than I did.
So come Sunday morning when you wake and begin your routine or whatever it may be? Remember that you will not be the only one, embrace the fact that we are all running or walking and we all start the day of a run together. No matter how fast or slow we finish or the distance we travel, we need to cross the start line and the finish line. Could it be simpler than that?
Anyone who has read this and is running or walking any of the distances on Sunday, good luck and enjoy!
Out and about this week and weekend:
Leeston Wednesday Night Road Runners, Leeston, Canterbury.
Christchurch Marathon (full, half, 10km and walking options)