Spring. A time of daffodils and lambs for most people. But for many runners, the blossom and the lighter mornings signal that Spring marathons are approaching.
Even with a few weeks to go, there’s lots you can do to get yourself fully prepped, from your kit, to your race strategies. Here’s 4 steps how to get prepped!…
1. Test Run
Your final long run is usually 3 weeks out from your marathon. Use this as a final test run.
- Eat your pre run meal the night before that you normally have, and that you’ll eat before the marathon, to check you feel good running on it.
- Wear as much as possible of the kit that you’ll wear on race day to check it doesn’t rub.
- Carry the gels or food you’ll be taking with you, and test that you can get them out of your pocket or belt easily on the run.
Plan your ideal marathon:
What is your goal time and pace? Make sure you’ve tested your marathon pace in some runs, so you know what it feels like. [To work out how fast you should run, see here]
It’s very helpful to have ‘A, B and C’ goals.
- A is your dream goal. You’d be over the moon if you got this.
- B is a realistic and good goal. You’d be very happy with this.
- C is a fallback. You’d be satisfied with this.
I find the fallback of C is really useful to think through before, so if something goes wrong on the day, you can switch to this plan. This makes you calmer it and when it happens, and less disappointed afterwards, as you’ve planned for it. My marathon C goal is often ‘to finish’. Even if I’m not feeling good, I want to cross the finish line and get a medal, and that plan keeps me going, even when my A and B goals are out the window.
Start to think through different scenarios about race day, so you’re ready to cope with anything that comes up. Like
How will you manage in different weathers? Would you wear anything different? I tend to just run in the same kit rain or shine for a marathon, but you might want sunglasses if it’s very bright, or I take more throwaway clothes to the start if it’s very cold.
Will you adjust your pace if it’s very windy or very hot? Much as I always want to run at a certain pace, if it’s very hot or windy, I have to run more based on effort (and heart rate if you use that). It often means you will have to go a bit slower for the same effort. I find it much easier to cope with if I’ve thought about it first, and then you’re more prepared and less disappointed on the day if you have to go slower because of the conditions.
Make a list of anything you need to buy, like gels or blister plasters. Then buy it ahead of time, don’t leave it too late when you might not be able to get hold of it.
Art Of Your Success is here to help your final prep – you can write your list on a running notepad, wish runners good luck with a card, or get everything ready for the day with the race checklist packing list. If you’re running and want to thank family or sponsors for their support, say it with a special thank you card that will make them smile.
Good luck and just ask in the comments below if you’ve got any marathon prep questions