The Marathon Therapist

Posted: April 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

I become more of a therapist and less of a running coach the final week before the marathon. Even the most experienced marathoners can work themselves into an emotional frenzy while managing all aspects of their marathon preparation. Just a few of the areas of concern are:

When should I arrive at the expo?
What should I eat in the days before the marathon?
What should I eat the night before the marathon?
What should I eat the morning of the marathon?
What should I eat during the marathon?
Am I hydrating enough?
Am I getting sufficient rest?
How am I getting to Hopkinton?
What should I wear in the Athlete’s Village?
What should I wear to the starting line?
What if I become too warm?
What if I’m not warm enough?
What is the weather going to be on Monday?
Where can my family meet me?
What if I miss them?
What is the best strategy for managing each segment of the marathon course?
What side of Commonwealth Avenue do we run on?
Should I take aid from spectators?
What is the best T-stop for my family to meet me?

These are just a FEW of the questions I have answered in the past 24 hours. The best advice I can offer is to take a deep breath and begin planning your weekend beginning with the expo tomorrow. If necessary, make a list (and check it twice) of everything you could possibly need for the weekend. It can be very reassuring to place everything you plan to have on Marathon Day out so you can literally see what you’ll need.

I always recommend keeping everything simple or you will quickly become a bundle of nerves and excessively neurotic. Keep in mind that your family and friends may walk away shaking their heads, throw their hands in the air and proclaim, “I give up…I’ll see you at the finish line!”

I know one thing for sure, you will be a completely different person after you cross the finish line. You will be calm, you will be normal again…and you will have an incredible sense of accomplishment!

  1. Coach Dion says:

    I know what you mean, you as their coach must be getting very excited as the race is almost here. We, in Cape Town, have just run 2oceans and with my trail race the day before the half marathon and the 56km I can be on the side on the road.

    running with my ‘kids’ and cheering for them I ended up with 18.5km for the day!!! Man it is fun.

  2. Nick Ritter says:


    Thank you for your time, patience, help and advice over these past few months, it really is appreciated. I have been going completely insane with worry about being able to move to goal pace given my wave / corral assignment, one to add to your list above, but otherwise am incredibly focused and really excited about this w/end. The time you have taken in your personal mails and phone calls with me are really appreciated. Thank you


    • Hello Nick,

      Thank you for your kind message. It’s been a pleasure speaking with you from across the Atlantic. I’m looking forward to meeting you at the pasta party. I admire your commitment to your health, wellness and fitness. You’ve done a fantastic job preparing for Boston. I know it’s difficult to adopt my recommendation for a feel-based approach to Boston but I’m confident it will serve you well.

      Keep the faith!


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