We are 6 days out from the El Paso Marathon and I have to ask, are you ready? I hope you are and you've been increasing your mileage to make the journey a successful one. Here are a few tips to help make sure you get to the finish line.
Tip #1 - Don't stop running!
A lot of people think, "I won't run this week so I'm ready for the race." Your cardiovascular endurance can reduce by up to 50% with that kind of thinking. Keep running and I would recommend a light run on Friday, no running on Saturday. So if you are going for the marathon distance (26+ miles, oh you brave souls!), run no more than 7 miles; Half marathon, no more than 3 miles...basically keep it light to be ready on Sunday. Try cross-training (not cross fit) into another sport to keep cardiovascular fitness. I always recommend cycling the course so you know what to expect, plus this comes in handy for Tip #3.
Tip #2 - Don't excessively "Carb Load" the day before!
I hear a lot of people saying, "I'm going to pig out on pasta!" Eat a healthy amount of your typical diet, especially the day before. If you wanted to carb up a little, do this two days out from the race to allow your body to fully store the glycogen and other sugars. Also, space out the carbs throughout the day and don't eat it all in one meal. If you've gone through our Metabolic Rate testing, then eat at the higher end of your green zone, low end of yellow zone calories. Basically, enjoy a nice hearty but health meal with friends and family the night before but don't go overboard. You'll end up feeling sluggish and slow.
Tip #3 - Mentally Run the Course!
Metacognition (thinking about how you think) is huge in peak performance!
Top level athletes visualize themselves successfully performing on race day, so
should you! Find a spot where you can sit still for 30 minutes. Keep in mind this can be anywhere and you don't even need it to be quiet, unless you find it difficult to focus. Put on your training music, if you have a race playlist even better. Visualize the areas you saw on your bike ride from Tip #1 which you think may be challenging and see yourself exploding through, visualize that mile section where you have time to refuel and grab a drink on the run, plan out how you'll pose for that finish line photo as you run to home base! Research demonstrates, the more you visualize yourself being successful the more likely it will occur on performance aka race day!
Good luck and I hope to see you out there! EP Rehab Specialty will be at the Sport Expo on Saturday performing KT tapping and giving out advice, so stop by and say hello. Also, look for us at the finish line as we'll be offering free post race stretches to make sure you can walk to work on Monday. :-) I'll be looking for ya with your medal!