The final few weeks of training & staying hydrated! Week 15 & 16.

We’re into the final few weeks of training now and I can safely say that the hard work is DONE. Not much else at this stage will help me on Marathon day. It’s simply a process of ticking over and getting myself as ready as I can be for race day. I’ll summarise last week and this week in one blog post, but also finish with some top tips on how to survive on race day, it’s set to be a warm one!!

Week 15

Monday
Rest 

Tuesday
Final speed session completed. This session had easier paced reps to not over exert myself, by trying to find 10K pace.  Still using speed, but not at full effort. My body was still tired at this point. Marathon tapering really in full effect here.

Wednesday
Another rest day, but teaching 3 classes back to back in the evening was enough of a workout in itself. My mind is playing serious games with me this week. But the endorphin hit of classes re-energises me and I’m feeling good again.

Thursday
8 miles easy. Loved this run. I asked Michelle to join me and we had a chatty enjoyable run in the stunning English weather. i.e. it rained the whole way round!! 8 minute mile pace which was probably a tad quick, but I survived without any fatigue after.

Friday 
Rest again – what the… I’ve never rested this much in a week so far!!

Saturday
Cassiobury parkrun, PB attempt. Max effort over 5K a week before the marathon is fine. It won’t take me long to recover and right now I should be at my ‘almost’ peak fitness. Smashed the course up in 19:18, 6th overall and first lady. BOOM. Confidence boost and this run has done exactly what I needed. I think this is more of a psychological run than anything else.

Sunday
10 miles. Last double digit run before the big day. I wore my full race kit so I could ensure everything was comfortable ahead of London.
At this point we were in Brighton so I took to the beachfront to complete my run before the Marathon started. The final parts of the marathon course were being set up and the 10K was also happening at this time. I got a feeling for what it would be like next weekend and it gave me a huge rush. The reality was kicking in and the atmosphere really pushed me! My miles were easy but quick and with even stopping a few times to take pictures I averaged out at 8:02 pace. I then cheered the guys on around the marathon course, clocking up 21 miles for the day – oops!

Full video of our weekend here – https://youtu.be/5uIY6Tr_x4E

Race Week 

This is how my week looks in training…

Monday – Rest
Tuesday – Easy 5K with some marathon paced minute efforts thrown in
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – 4 miles easy and off to the expo to collect my race number
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Easy 5k/parkrun
Sunday – Race Day!!!!

As you can see, I’m not doing too much in the week of the marathon, an extra few stretching and core sessions here and there, but nothing too intense. The hard work is done, and it’s now about final preparation for the big day.

The weather forecast is due to be HOT HOT HOT on Sunday and as we’ve had to train in freezing conditions, it’s slightly different to what our bodies are used to. I’m not changing much on the day, but here is what I will do to ensure I race as well as I can:

  • Race Kit – I will wear my shorts and vest I had always planned to run in. I’m not changing my kit now and don’t plan to. I won’t be wearing a hat… 1. I don’t have one and 2. I find hats hold in the heat. A visor is OK to keep the sun out your face, but if you choose to wear new things on race day, try them out on your easier runs throughout the week. The worst thing would be to have a new piece of clothing that irritates you. I may use sunglasses but know they’re cheap enough to throw away and not miss the if I don’t want to use them.
  • Hydration Before – I was planning to up my water intake this week anyway, but will continue to stay well hydrated from Wednesday onwards. I use Science in Sport Hydration tablets too and have a few of these a day in a bottle of water for extra electrolytes.
  • Hydration on the day – Again I have another SiS electrolyte powder which I usually use on races, I sip on this on all race mornings so nothing new to me here.
  • Hydration on the course – London must be one of the most hydrated marathon course out there. They have water at almost every single mile! I will take enough water at every stop and continue to top up along the way. I won’t take water on a hydration pack with me but use the water on the course. I’m also planning to take a few hydration tablets in my pockets so that I can put them in a water bottle along the course to top up the electrolytes. When we sweat, we lose salt which can cause our muscles to cramp up. So I’m going to be on the safe side and take these with me just in case.
  • Pace – you may need to adapt your pace on the day. Start off steady and see how you feel. The heat affects everyone differently. I recently ran in Cyprus and although it was hot, I tried not to let it affect my race. By my time, I don’t think it did much?! So I’m going to stick to my pacing strategy, but if I feel too hot, back off the pace slightly….. But, it is down to the individual, I sweat buckets so my body must be able to regulate my temperature better than others!?!?
  • DON’T PANIC – the weather is one variable we can’t control – and worrying about it, won’t change it. So my advice is to make the best of the situation and not panic. With it being warm, there will be more crowds, more of an atmosphere and hopefully increase the mood of the day. The London Marathon is such a special event, so enjoy it, cherish the moment and lap up the atmosphere.

I can’t wait for Sunday now! I’m as ready as I’ll ever be and cannot wait to get onto that start line…. LONDON, I’M READY.

 

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Good luck to anyone else running London this weekend. See you out on the course!

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