Tis the eve of the marathon …

Posted on January 26, 2012


Tis the eve of the Dubai Marathon / 10km and there’s an air of excitement all around. Some will turn up for nothing more than the jolly or a good training run whilst others will have spent months preparing. And if you fall into the latter category, you must make sure to avoid any pre-race blunders.

Here’s my top ten things to AVOID in the final hours before that start gun fires …

1. DO NOT go for a strenuous run today in the hope of an incremental lift in performance. You should now be resting and besides, if you did run hard today you wouldn’t actually realise the benefits in terms of improved fitness until several days or even a few weeks later anyway.

So … either go for a light 15-20 minute jog or hang loose and chill out instead.

2. DO NOT stuff yourself with low quality calories i.e. processed sugar and a high concentration of fat. A huge part of race preparation is nutrition. You want your muscles packed full of high quality energy in the form of complex carbohydrate (ie glycogen). Glycogen stores are typically what you burn first, and once depleted your body will resort to burning fat to generate energy for activity.

So … eat lots of fruits, grains and veggies etc and give the Big Mac’s a wide berth.

3. DO NOT forget to hydrate. Adequate fluid intake is even more important than your food intake leading up to a race.

So … keep drinking a steady flow of water all day today and monitor how hydrated you are by your pee. The more yellow, the more dehydrated you are.

4. DO NOT leave it until the morning to pack your gear together.  Worse still, DO NOT leave it until tomorrow to decide on your outfit for the day, particularly if like me, you often try on several (adidas) colour combos before deciding what to wear.

So … pack all this eve.  Lay out what you will wear and pack your drop bag with everything you might need or want on the day.

5. DO NOT event think about wearing a new pair of shoes.

Brand new shoes haven’t been broken in yet and whilst I find my adidas cushion response cause no probs ever, new shoes could cause injury or blisters if you run too long / far in them.

So … stick with your trusty old timers.  They haven’t let you down yet and they won’t now!

6. DO NOT think about walking for miles today.  This applies to all … those who have come to Dubai especially for the marathon shouldn’t be spending today on a mass walking tour. And residents shouldn’t decide to hit the mall tonight and spend hours traipsing in and out of stores for last minute DSF bargains.

So … avoid sore and swollen feet by taking it easy today.  As I mentioned above, a light jog is fine. Otherwise, just chill or go for a swim.

7. DO NOT cut off any blisters or calloused skin that has built up during your training. The skin underneath will be raw and not ready for the beating it’s about to take.

So … leave the dead skin on as it acts as a layer of protection and will stave off a lot of unnecessary discomfort. Just think of the wonderful pedi you can have tomorrow post-race!

8.  DO NOT stay up too late.  I know it’s Australia Day and I know there’s loads going on tonight but the night before a race, you want as much rest as you can get.

So … be good and stay home to conserve your energy. If I see any runners sneaking into Barasti, there will be trouble!!

9. DO NOT mentally psych yourself out. Chances are you’ve done all of the things you should have done to prepare for the race so don’t let last minute jitters lead you into the race thinking negative thoughts.

So … remain calm and convinced that you’re ready to go! Remember, as taught by the lovely Yvette from Breathe Believe Pilates … ALL I NEED IS WITHIN ME NOW … say that out loud … NOW … go ahead. And then repeat, repeat, repeat!

10. DO NOT forget to set your alarm. Allow yourself enough time to get up, don a cute outfit, have brekkie then get to the race.  I suggest parking across SZR from Downtown then walking through the metro.  Roads might be closed and you don’t want to risk being late.

So … work backwards now and decide when you need to get up.  Set your alarm and de-activate the snooze option.  Just for tomorrow … you can do it!!

Finally, GOOD LUCK to everyone.  And if you are one of the faster runners, hang around and cheer on those who are behind you.  I remember this time last year, writing about Aiden and his marathon run … those who take longer are the real winners because they show the greatest spirit for the longest time.


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