The Bournemouth Marathon is fast approaching, so we at Total Therapy have put together some tips on what you should be doing over the next couple of weeks.
Have faith in the taper…
Your mileage, over those final 3 weeks before race day, should be progressively dropping. All your hard work and training should be done by this point, and now is the time to gradually reduce that workload so your body can be well-rested and in prime condition to race. High mileage depletes a lot of the muscles energy stores and other crucial components needed for optimum performance, so you need this time to build these back up.
The energy stores in your muscles only last for a couple of hours at the most, which can be a problem for marathon runners that are running for 3 hours or more. By making sure you are well hydrated and have eaten enough carbohydrates to boost these stores, you can improve your performance by up to 20%! Fuelling up before the race is important, but continuing to fuel throughout is the key to keeping these stores up, and avoiding sudden fatigue and “hitting the wall”. Experiment with different energy gels/drinks/sweets during your training runs to see what suits you best, so you have no unexpected nasty surprises on race day.
Static stretches are so last decade…
Recent research shows that static stretching is not all it was previously cracked up to be, and that dynamic stretching is a more effective way to warm up and prepare to race. Static stretching will relax your nervous system and muscles, which can reduce their power and responsiveness, ultimately resulting in reduced output and performance. Not what you want before a race! See the following video for ideas on dynamic stretching and running drills (note: you should practice these before training runs, don’t leave them until race day to try them!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1EU_JfotB8
Don’t be afraid to stop running!
The marathon is a gruelling distance, and puts a lot of strain on mind and body. If you are experiencing pain, or significant fatigue, give yourself a break. Your health is more important than a time, so look after yourself and take breaks when you need them. If you begin feeling unwell, or develop significant pain or injury during the run, stop and seek medical advice. Our Total Therapy team will be onsite during race day if you are not sure what to do.