So the final week has arrived. All those aches and pains, cramps and blisters will all come to a head on the 28th October. The countdown is on! So what should you do this week to help my performance on the day? Well there are a number of things that we would recommend to help survive through the punishing 42.195 km slog.
Keep on running, but not too much!
You should be well into your taper at this point, so no long runs is an obvious essential. The focus this week is on recovery and preparation. Remember this week’s runs are more for your peace of mind, as they do not offer any conditioning benefits, as they are too close to the race. Try two to three short runs this week starting on Monday and tapering as the week goes on. Your Monday run should be at a distance of no greater than 5 km and I would recommend you run this at a slower than race pace. If you were to run again on Tuesday, try a marathon paced 2 km run and again another easy 5 km max run on Thursday. You should then rest the legs for at least 2-3 days before the race and get mentally ready to perform on Sunday.
Eat well to stay ready!
One of the main aims for the final week is to increase your protein intake. Protein is essential for muscle repair following the damage caused by running. Try eating between 75 and 100 grams of protein per day by filling up on the lean proteins like fish, poultry and eggs. For those of you who may be vegetarian or vegan, try gain extra proteins from sources such as beans and nuts. Ensure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals on board which are found in abundance in fresh fruit and vegetables. Fats are also an essential fuel to get you across the finish line, so avoid cutting back your intake until after the race.
Water yourself regularly!
Wash down all those pre-race meals with some fluids, keeping clear of excessive caffeine and alcoholic drinks as these may cause a reduction in hydration levels. Don’t restrict your salt intake during meal times as a reduced intake combined with high fluid levels and exercise can lead to hyponatraemia which can be extremely serious. Try and maintain your normal salt intake and there is no harm in adding a pinch of salt to your meals or having a snack on some salty popcorn while watching some Netflix with the feet up! You earned it!
Massage and stretch those tired legs!
Try and prep those tired legs for their big challenge a little more than you usually do over the course of the week ahead. Try light stretches paying particular attention to the glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves. Try not to overdo the stretching, the advice would be to stick to your normal routines or perform short holds of 10 seconds and between 3-6 reps. Massage is something I would recommend regularly, as it will promote blood flow and try to maintain low tone in the muscle. Try running your hands through your muscles or use equipment such as a foam roller or muscle ball. Muscle rubs and heat creams may also help you feel looser and more prepared. And don’t forget to elevate those legs, particularly after those light runs. Elevation can help to remove any local swelling and help recover and get ready.
We at Ratoath physiotherapy would like to wish you all a very enjoyable and injury free event. Should you wish to speak to us or come in simply for a loosen up, we are happy to help.