It is now 4 days and counting and the streets of Los Angeles are waiting for you. The weather here in Los Angeles is just incredible this week. I hope you are anticipating a great race. If the nerves are kicking in, no worries, welcome to marathon racing. Maybe it is good positive energy ready to go and you are confusing it with nervousness and anxiety. Stay positive out there.
LA Marathon Wednesday is here and I bring you a variety of tips today to think about and apply to yourself if you feel it applies to you.
It basically comes down to nutrition from today to race day. All your goals and expectations for race day come down to this. Stay smart out there and make the right decisions. You have sacrificed so much the last months of training so stay true to healthy and smart portions.
The weather is heating up here in LA and it is beautiful but it may feel a little hot for a marathon. Stay on top of your fluid intake in the next days to race day. Remember the average couch potato needs 60 ounces of water but you are an athlete so more is required THROUGHOUT your day. Please don’t gulp water.
CHECK YOUR URINE
This sounds a bit strange, I know, but hear me out. A great way to see if you are properly hydrated is to check your urine. If your urine is completely clear this is probably not what you want to look for. Chances are you have had too much water and you have now flushed a lot of the salt out of your body. Showing up to the start line like this will make you feel extremely sluggish and “tired.” What you want to look for is a light lemonade tint color, a little yellow and a little white. This is a great hydration measure. If your urine is super dark or orange, you are dehydrated. If you take vitamins chances are your urine is super yellow and it will be hard to determine this way so monitor your intake carefully.
WATCH THAT ALCOHOL INTAKE.
alcohol is fine to have but keep that drink to one or two at most. If you drink beer on the course, usually they hand them out in the 20’s, just make sure your stomach can take this. I have seen a lot of runners throwing up several yards after taking the free beer offered by spectators on the course.
Today is Wednesday and the perfect time to get sleep in the next two days as from Friday on it will be a bit challenging to get a good night’s sleep due to anticipating the big day on Sunday. You may find yourself tossing and turning the next days and that’s OK. On Saturday night this may be the biggest day you toss and turn and you may lay in bed for hours before falling asleep with very little sleep when its time to wake up. If This happens to you, don’t worry. This is the norm and you will be just fine. Don’t stress over this if this happens to you.
If you are a coffee drinker like me you very well understand the saying, “Don’t talk to me, I haven’t had my coffee yet” In seriousness coffee is perfectly fine to have pre race and it will actually help with endurance. But I say this trusting your body is completely hydrated. Two cups won’t kill you as well but I would probably limit it at two. Stay hydrated and you will be fine.
ARE YOU RUN WALKING?
If you are run walking like a lot of marathoner’s this Sunday it’s important to remember when you come to your walks to keep the heart rate up so when it’s time to run you don’t feel tired when its time to run which will naturally raise your heart rate. Keep the heart rate up by pretending you are a late for an appointment kind of walk. This will help so much.
WALK THROUGH WATER STATIONS?
Nothing worse than approaching a water station and grabbing water and drinking while you run and the water going up your nose. It is a good idea to grab your water, come to a “late for an appointment” walk and drink your water. Be quick and when you dispose of the cup get back into pace. I actually know someone who qualified for Boston by walking 30 seconds through every water station. So don’t worry about time so much. In the big picture it may be beneficial.
The whole concept of walk breaks in the run/walk process is the walking actually delays the on set of lactic acid which builds in your legs and gives you that heavy, tired feeling. So don’t feel like you are doing wrong if you need to get a one minute quick walk in. It will help you so much if need be.
Don’t let the anticipation and the adrenaline of the race get you out to a fast start. Show massive patience and discipline and allow your body to get into rhythm and build its natural progression to your race pace. Most marathoner’s make this mistake and while you feel good, you will pay for it in the later miles. Be Zen like and stay in the moment and execute your plan.
YOUR INNER VOICE YOU NEVER KNEW YOU HAD
Lastly the marathon is an amazing test to the human spirit. It challenges you in ways where you are faced with a wall to climb when it seems you have nothing left physically to continue forward. But the human spirit and your heart are powerful and just when you thought you can’t move forward, you always find a way to push forward even when it seems you can’t go forward. In this process there will be an inner voice inside you telling to never quit or give up and it may be a voice you never knew you had. The marathon is about how much you can take and keep moving forward, very much how life is. Look for that inner voice on Sunday and listen to it and push through the challenge. When you cross the finish line Sunday the real work begins as you continue to listen to that inner voice and take on any challenge in your life and never give up. The finish line is more than a line on the road, it teaches us to face adversity with the same positive outlook we have in running and to always persevere no matter what life throws at us. Stay in the moment and show gratitude every day and all great things will come your way.
See you tomorrow,