Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pre-Race Preparation Tips

The OC Marathon is just 12 short days away. As the miles are slowly coming off my training schedule, I revisited the best tips to keep in mind within 1-2 weeks of RACE DAY! My goal is to PR at the OC Marathon, and qualify once again for the 2012 Boston Marathon!

1.            Revisit and visualize your goalsIs my goal of 3:35 still relevant? I think so. Wait, that’s the wrong attitude, YES! It’s a realistic challenge. What will I do differently in this race that I haven’t done before during a race? Spend several miles without my iPod.

2.            Avoid taper madnessAfter 3 months of heavy training, the last two weeks of lowering the mileage has ‘phantom pains’ creeping up on me. No, hip you are fine! I am going to use these next 12 days of taper to rest, and stretch.  If an easy 5 mile is on the schedule, and my legs are itching to go 12, I’ll remind them, ‘this is for race day’.

3.            Examine the course: The course for OC Marathon has changed this year. Not a big surprise, as it’s the 7th annual and I believe they have had 4-5 different courses around Orange County. Nontheless, run the new leg, and definitely fit a run in on the last 6 miles of the course, as I’ve only touched these parts on previous race days when I want to spoon my eyes out coming in the final stretch.

4.            Drink lots of water:  Being hydrated for a race starts a week ahead of time. There is a theory that thirsty people feel more pain. No alcohol. I want my body to be full of good things. I will try and limit my coffee and other caffeine take. Realistically two-three days before.

5.            Buy some sweet new running shorts: Because it’s exciting to put them the morning of RACE DAY!

6.            Don’t wear your favorite $14 running socks up to 4 days before so you don’t have to wash them the day before the race: Enough said.

7.             Sleep well on Friday: Marathon is on Sunday. Sleep generally has a lag time of about 36 hours. Sleeping poorly two days before the race will be much worse than sleeping poorly the night before the race.

8.            Get in a short pre-race day jog: Get in a short 2 or 3 mile jig jog the day before the marathon. Do not go fast, try to avoid going up any mountains unless you are scouting the course, and try to relax.

9.            Eat a good meal: Nothing out of the norm, what I would usually eat the night before my long runs (or any other meal in general, as I am usually pretty healthy). No popcorn Colletti. And no pre-race coffee. 

OC Marathon 2009 -  Dad on Bike, Dan on my side! PR: 3:38