The Final Countdown! Week Before Nerves…
Edinburgh Marathon Festival is just around the corner and with runs tapering off in order to feel fresh on the day, the focus has shifted from making sure my body is able to handle the mileage to making it feel the most comfortable while doing so. With so many things to consider, like what to wear on the day, figuring out what breakfast to eat to feel best running at 8am, not to mention actually practicing a run at 8am (I’m not really a morning runner!) and testing different products to consume during a longer run that don’t upset the digestive system too much… the training seems to have been the easy part!
The nerves have definitely kicked in, which makes it easy to think of all the worst possible case scenarios. Frustratingly, I missed a week of training due to a stomach virus, which has only amplified my nerves and left me feeling like I was no longer on track. I was assured that rest would do me good and so instead of trying to desperately catch up I have slowly increased my mileage again. Aside from the aspects of fitness and ability there are so many other worries playing on my mind, like what the weather will be like on the day or what if I am not feeling my best that morning. Some things are out of our control, and others are not worth worrying about, but I am trying to do everything I can to better the odds.
The Golden Rule: Nothing New on Race Day!
After so many months of hard work, running 13.1 miles and slipping up from something small like chafing from a garment or a funny tummy from a gel, seems the worst possible thing that could happen. The best advice I have received from more experienced racers is making sure to replicate what you’ve done in training, or in other words, training in the way you will be performing on the day. This, for me, means running earlier in the morning and getting used to getting up a few hours before to eat breakfast and giving it time to digest. A safe option for breakfast on these days would be porridge with banana, or toast with either avocado or nut butter.
I am still testing the waters with what nutrition products to consume while out on runs, be it sport beans, liquid or solid gels, as nothing so far seems to fully settle but I am hoping that with more usage I will begin to feel the benefit more.
There are never any guarantees that slip ups won’t occur on race day, but if there is anything I have learnt over the last few weeks it is not to change too many things at once. Introducing new products one by one will allow you to see what it is that isn’t working and will be less of a shock to the system, especially when it comes to nutrition products.
Read the fifth and final chapter of Megan’s multi-blog series: 5 Race Day Essentials