“What should I be doing?” tips, five days before the marathon (part 2)

(This is part 2. Read part 1 first). Less than a week left for marathon day (M-day). Hope tapering is going good! If you are a pro or elite runner this probably not the place to look for tips… Everybody else (95%), if you’re interested, keep reading.

A mix of universal important tips and some that you may not have heard of:

People and relationships:

  • Stay away from people who are or look sick. Sorry sick fellow, but this not a good time to pass it on to me! As much as you can, stay away from busy public transportation, walk away from people coughing and sneezing. At work, turn down meetings with colleagues in bad shape. If you shook hands, excuse yourself and use hand sanitizer or wipes. DON’T TOUCH YOUR EYES, NOSE, OR FACE after a close encounter. Hopefully, nobody at home is sick at this time, because you’ll have to treat them as if they had smallpox. Joking aside, you have to steer away from people who have colds or flu. Chances are you’ll get it before or after the M. Remember that after a tough endurance event your immune system will be at its lowest, so if you didn’t get sick before, you are going to afterwards.
  • Sex. My dad is always reminding me that I shouldn’t have sex the days before the race. What? Says who? Show me proof! Life is short, so don’t turn down any chance. Just be careful with joints and jumping on and off the bed. As with any other activity, practice safely. And get your 8 hr of sleep the night before the big M. Oh, a side note: Viagra. Recently, I read that some say it could be a sport performance enhancer. So far it has only been demonstrated that it helps with erections.So who would believe that you took it to run a better M …? (LOL)
  • Positive people. Be with people that support you and your cause.
  • Positive thinking. Sometimes, subconsciously, we sabotage our own works. Don’t fall into that trap. Don’t give into eating, drinking, over training, injuring, or be with the wrong people.
  • Plan how you are going to get to the start muster point early in the morning. Have you started yet? Car pool? Drive? Parking spot? Public transportation?
  • Speed work is OK. Just don’t overdo it. Don’t pull a muscle so close to the event. Careful with joints and ligaments. Long distance or hills is not a good idea now. You have very few runs left. They shouldn’t be longer than 10 km.
  • Race pace. Use one of your runs to run at race pace on a flat course. Good reality check. But don’t panic with any second thoughts. Race day everything will be better with everybody around you. If you have a GPS, use it to pace yourself (make sure you know how!)
  • Low impact activities. Don’t do anything new. I’m a triathlete, so I like cycling, spinning, swimming. If you do Yoga, great! If you don’t DON’T START NOW ! Weight lifting or strength training is a bad idea. It won’t add anything to your fitness level, it will make you’re muscles sore and inflamed.
  • Body check. Anything hurts? Review your pain points. This is when you should evaluate any measures (drugs, physio, massage, rest) or consider cancelling. There’s no point in breaking something that will take a very long time to repair.
Drugs (always check with your GP):
  • Taking mild anti-inflammatory. There’s always some pain or small injuries from all your pre-race training. Keep treating it with mild over the counter pain killers or anti inflammatory. Personally, Advil (ibuprofen) works for me. Helps get rid of inflammation (physical nature and/or mental). If you are in need of anything stronger than ibuprofen or nurofen, you probably want to reconsider racing. Side note: Nurofen plus has codeine. If  you are taking it (codein really works!), you should be aware that codeine causes fluid retention and you’ll be a few kg over your average weight.
  • Other drugs. Just DON’T DO IT.
  • Green veggies, sweet potatoes and fruit. Stay away from baked potatoes, chips, wedgies.
  • Water, skim milk, green tea, moderate amounts of black coffe. Stay away from processed juice, sugary energy drinks and sodas.
  • Moderate amount of high fibre cereal. Careful with this, progressively reduce serving size. Same with beef.
  • Keep taking your usual dose of vitamins, glucosamine, fish oil, etc.
  • Easy on other dairy products like yoghurt and cheese.
  • Forget about anything that doesn’t add real value to your diet and fitness. You don’t need it. Save money and don’t go to Dome or San Churro (or Starbucks) for a few days.
Maybe there will be a part 3… To be continued 🙂
Other posts:

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