Final Preparations For The 21 Miler

Posted: March 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

Preparing for this weekend’s 21 miler should be well underway. The next two days should be focused on developing your plan for the days leading up to the marathon on every level. Fueling, hydrating, resting , shoes, clothing and mental prepartion are the focal points of a successful journey from Hopkinton to Boston.

The final long run is the perfect time to test your complete plan for the upcoming Boston Marathon. You should attempt to replicate precisely what you will be doing in the days leading up to Boston. Hydration is often overlooked, particularly when the temperatures are so low. Hydrating during the colder months is as important than the summer. Properly fueling for a run of 20+ miles should begin days before and not the night before. I eat whole foods and avoid high fiber and processed foods. Carbohydrates will provide the energy your muscles need to sustain you through the rigorous initial 21 miles of the Boston Marathon.

I try to eat approximately 2 hours before a long run. Breakfast before a long run is usually oatmeal with soy milk. I avoid dairy altogether. (Soy, rice, and almond milks generally don’t contain the sugar lactose, which can be difficult to digest), toasted bagel with almond butter and a banana. I then use a water bottle with an energy drink to top off the tank.

It’s so easy to overlook resting because you have so much on your mind. Balancing life with putting the final touches on your marathon preparation is extremely challenging. Consequently, two nights before a major event; whether the 21 miler or the Boston Marathon, is your most important night to sleep.

Be sure to dress for temperatures that are 20 degrees warmer than the actual temperature. Turn the clothes you plan to wear inside out and remove any tags or modify areas that may cause abrasion. Obviously you shouldn’t be wearing clothing you haven’t tested on several shorter runs. Applying Body Glide liberally will prevent chafing in sensitive areas (e.g., under arms, between legs, feet, and under a running bra, etc.).

Proper mental preparation is arguably as important as any other aspect of your preparation. Take time to reflect on how much work you’ve invested in this effort and how fortunate you are to even attempt the Boston Marathon. Accept the reality that you will NEVER feel totally prepared…that’s the excitement of something as significant as the Boston Mararthon. And that is why the sense of accomplishment is so signficant.

The time you invest in your final preparations for the 21 miler and the Boston Marathon will determine the degree of success you experience. Make the investment now and reap the rewards later!

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