Six weeks until race day has me thinking of rehearsal. Do you rehearse?
What did you think of with this question? Getting ready for a music performance? A play? Rehearsing that tough conversation you know you have to have? Practicing ahead of time for some type of performance?
What about rehearsing for you next big race? In some ways training can be thought of as rehearsing, but there are some specifics. Boston is now in 6 weeks, which means it’s time to rehearse. Here are some tips.
1. Clothing. Do you know what you’re wearing on race day? If you’re 4-6 weeks out, it’s time to decide. Why so early? So you can start training in exactly what you plan to wear. For us ladies, that means your bra. For all of us it means running shirt, socks, shorts, hat, and anything else you plan to wear. This way you’ll avoid equipment struggles and unexpected (& painful) chafing. I know that some people like to run in their race shirts… I see them at every race. Don’t do this! You don’t know how that shirt will work out for you. Odds are that it will be fine. But if it’s not you’ll have a miserable race (and the longer the race, the more miserable). Save the shirt to put on as soon as you finish your race. Then you can proudly wear it (along with the medal you earned), and it’s nice and clean.
2. How many miles to you have on your shoes? How many miles to you plan to run between now and your goal race? Do the math and then if you need shoes, get them. You want to have time to transition into them. Don’t wear them for the first time on a long run…but you certainly need to wear them on a few long runs before race day.
3. Race day nutrition and fluids. You need to know two things: what are they serving on the course, and what is the frequency of the aid stations. If you don’t already know this then go to the race website and look it up. Are you experienced with the beverage? If not, buy some and start using it on your next long run. This allows you to get used to it and to even discover if it will work for you. I now have quite the collection of fluid products (it can get expensive so find someone to share with). This is incredibly important because you should never take in unfamiliar food or liquids during a race. It’s also important because you might discover that the particular product that will be on a course doesn’t work for you. This happened with my 4th marathon. Thankfully I was able to buy a sample of what they would be using. It didn’t work for me. It tasted sickly sweet and yet had no calories (you really need calories in a marathon). So I opted to change my plan with gel consumption for that particular race. It would have been a disaster if I hadn’t done my homework.
I also advise knowing the frequency of the aid stations. Some races have them every mile (like Boston) and you won’t need to stop every mile. Right now I’m doing my long runs with the intention of hitting the aid station every three miles. This is a bit farther than I’m used to…so I’m rehearsing it. I still have time to go down to every two miles if necessary. Some races, because of the course won’t have evenly spaced aid stations. It’s important to know this. This was the case at my BQ marathon. In my rehearsal I ate and drank according to their info. I even wrote the distances on my hand with a sharpie, which may be going a bit overboard.
4. Pre-race nutrition. The advice here is don’t change your diet on race week. My coach recommended this when I was stressing about all I’d previously read about carb loading. He told me to just eat as I usually eat and this has been great advice.
What do you usually do for your own race rehearsal?
Here’s my training plan for the past week.
|Workouts: 2/25/2018 – 3/3/2018|
15 squats; 20 sec. plank; 10 push ups; 20 Crunches; 10 lunges on each leg; 20 sec. plank; 10 calf drops on each leg; 20 Sit-Ups Completed: 35:07
Run – Easy Run
3 x 1-Mile @ 10K Pace w/ 2:00 Rest
1 Mile Cooldown (Easy)
15 squats; 20 sec. plank; 10 push ups; 20 Crunches; 10 lunges on each leg; 20 sec. plank; 10 calf drops on each leg; 20 Sit-Ups
Completed Strength Training: 1:24:20