It’s time to prepare for race day! Today starts off the last week leading up to my half marathon race on Saturday. If you’ve trained hard, you’ve run quite a few long runs at a distance close to and above 10 miles. I’ve also been trying to lose some of my extra weight prior to race day. This is the week when it’s time to put on the breaks and coast into your race day. It’s time for your body to rest up, get good nutrition, and prepare your mind for race day. If you were dieting during your race this is the week to bump up your nutrients and substitute some of your fruits and vegetables for carbohydrates such as pasta.
My last long run was yesterday, which was 12 miles at a good steady slow pace. It’s been extra humid for this time of year and my long runs, to say the least, have suffered in performance. That’s ok because hot weather conditioning for your training will make a better race day performance. If your race day is substantially cooler then you will get even more benefits from training in hotter weather.
Rest. I am still letting my muscles rebuild from Saturday’s long run. Remember that your muscles don’t build when you are running only when you are recovering which takes 24-48 hours.
I run approximately 3 miles at an easy-medium pace. I do not push myself at all this week. This week is designed to taper you into race day.
Last official run before the race. This run is extremely light-footed and technology free. I run just for the fun of it and I try not to bring along any music as well. I typically will not push past 2 miles.
Rest. I don’t cross train or run. I will, however, go for an easy walking stroll for a distance of 1 to 2 miles.
I might go for a half a mile to one mile extremely slow run. The only reason I would run would be if I am feeling a bit on edge about the race and need to shake out a winding up of too much energy. I strongly don’t recommend running at all this day, especially for new half marathoners. I only share this with you because there are some of us that need to let a tiny bit of gas out of the engine or we might go bonkers.
Bonus: Schedule a massage. If you don’t have time for a full body massage then get in a leg massage. This will work wonders for your race and help you relax physically and mentally prior to race day.
Race day has arrived. It’s time to wake up and eat your calories for race day. Dawn your gear and hit the door. Don’t forget your race fuel!
The day after the race, some of us like to go for a recovery run. Recovery runs are extremely easy on the body that helps loosen up the legs slightly and move around your facial tissue to prevent extended soreness. This is optional and some of you won’t be able to run at all the next day. Try to at a minimum walk a few miles and do some light stretching after walking.
Scott Morton is the author of, Beginner’s Guide to Half Marathons: A Simple Step-By-Step Solution to Get You to the Finish Line in 12 Weeks! (Beginner To Finisher Book 3), which has become an Amazon #1 bestseller. Scott specializes in helping new runners become race finishers.
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