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9 Things to Avoid Right Before a Race

That great running magazine Runner’s World recently published an article about last minute training tips before your big race. How convenient since the “big race” is coming upArizona marathon mile 17 in 4 days. Yikes!

Anyway, here is the list and how it might affect a joggling marathoner. You should avoid these training traps even if you’re doing a 5K, 10K, half or marathon.

1. Don’t stuff yourself with carbs. They say you should increase the amount of carbs you take in slightly but don’t overdo it. Taking in too much makes you feel bloated and leads to water gain. Frankly, I don’t change my diet too much leading up to a marathon. Perhaps I eat a bit more but nothing different. Maybe I should….

2. Don’t try to make-up for all those missed miles. Running too much extra before a race will make you tired for race day. Feel free to do some extra juggling though. You can never juggle too much.

3. Don’t stress about your time. Your time will be what you run. I’ve had plenty of marathons where I didn’t run nearly as fast as I wanted to (or thought I could). But it’s a marathon! Just feel proud you crossed the line. The 99% of the world that can’t run a marathon is still impressed no matter how much time it took you.

4. Don’t try to set PRs in shorter races.  Since your body feels great some runners will try to get PRs in local 5Ks and 10Ks.  But you might get injured and screw up your marathon results.  Take it easy Flash.  One PR at a time.  Just focus on the most important race.

5.  Ignore all your “new” pains.  You’ll have this tendency to notice lots of new pains.  Right now my right ankle feels very tight.  My left glute is sore and I had an abdominal cramp during yesterday’s glycogen depletion run.  But that kind of thing happens.  Don’t worry.  On race day, you’ll be fine.

6.  Stay confident.  You’ve put in this much training, so you will do fine.  Nearly everyone who starts a marathon or half finishes.  Remember most courses stay open for up to 7 hours.  If you walked at a four mile an hour pace, you could finish under that time.  You can do it joggler!

7.  Don’t worry if your legs feel tired.  In the week before the marathon, you might experience a tired feeling in the legs.  This is a result of your body healing itself.  It’s normal and it will pass.

8.  Don’t pay attention to the butterflies in your stomach.  Yes, right now I’ve got those.  Mostly, I ignore them and they don’t bother me too much.  Try to focus on other activities to keep your mind off the big run.  Working on a new juggling trick can help calm you down.

9.  Don’t put on a lot of extra weight.  Sure you can eat a bit more before the race but don’t pig out.  Wait ’til after the run to do that.

Remember why you’re doing this run.  It’s for you.  Unless you are going to win the race, you shouldn’t stress about how well you do.  People will be impressed and so should you.  Most people in the world couldn’t run 2 miles let alone 26.2 miles.  It’s a great accomplishment.  Don’t spoil it by fretting about running it 5, 10 or even 30 minutes slower than you wanted to.

This Post Has 10 Comments
  1. Thanks John! And thanks for the great sign. Shannon actually really likes it and is looking forward to holding it up during this weekend’s marathon. Talk to you soon. Keep up the training. Perhaps we can run together in Chicago.

  2. Good list ! The training is all behind you now, with just the eating ahead.

    Here’s another perspective on marathon training which you might enjoy.

    “Final week: Aches all over. No sleep. Fat stomach. Tired legs. No chance. Congratulations – your physical and mental preparation are now complete. You’re ready to run !”

    Have a great race. You’ve come this far – the rest will be easy.

  3. This is crazy! Joggling? I had never heard of it, but I imagine it requires the utmost in concentration. I can’t juggle 3 balls. Much less run and juggle! I think it would also be important to avoid: crack cocaine, doing massive upper body workouts the night before, drinking green tea lattes, and reading Tolstoy! Seriously, I agree with the steps listed, but sarcasm reared it’s ugly head and I felt compelled, check out my blog for more. Sorry if this offended.

  4. Lots of concentration until you know how to do it. You have to look thru the pattern and let the balls go where they want. It’s not about throwing and catching, it’s more about gently gliding the objects to the place they want to go.

    Thanks for the comments. Your post on the death of Chewie was “touching” Keep up the great work!

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