The day before the big day !

Good morning bloggers – its Saturday morning ! Best time of the week I think 🙂

Big day tomorrow,  Grand Union Canal 1/2 marathon for me ( with a very clear time target to focus on ! We all have our own ways for preparing for races, depending on the type of race, distance etc and  I’ve learnt a lot about this over the past year – I used to think I needed a taper and to eat as much pasta as I could find before a 5k or sprint tri, or not do any exercise in the week up to a marathon – but I’ve come a long way since then and wanted to share the things I will be doing ahead of tomorrow.

So what’s my preparation going to be today ?

1. Trying to stay off my feet : it’s a local race so no fabulous new city to visit or massive expo to walk around thankfully as I am bad at that ! Especially when there are cobbled streets to explore and views to see from the top of those uneven stairs. I do have some chores to take care of so I’ll be active, but saving those legs !!

2. A good stretch : a set of dynamic stretches will warm up my muscles and help remove any lactic acid that’s still there after the past week. I have to admit my quads felt sore this morning climbing my stairs, so that’s another reason to work on them and stay off my feet. Another option for later will be a foam roller but I find that does more harm than good before a race, so will likely be used as recovery instead.

3. A swim workout : I have a swim workout in my plan which will focus the mind for an hour or so on something else. It will use lots of different muscles and loosen the body.

4. Getting my kit together : I have learnt that it’s not cool to leave this to the last-minute ! I think my brain has fallen out since I turned 40 as I have forgotten key workout kit this week, so I pulled out my favourite socks and sports bra last night and will have everything ready by noon today 🙂

5. Fuelling enough, but not too much : here’s an interesting one, fuel enough vs too much ! Lots of debate about what to eat the day before, the day of etc etc. I won’t eat much differently today to a normal day, other than perhaps drinking more water (I’m a tea drinker and don’t take in enough plain water) with some simple food, nothing too spicy or rich and staying away from those foods that take longer to digest, that’s red meat for me ! My one guilty pleasure may be a glass of red wine at dinner tonight though…….. well it is another birthday dinner, so it would be rude not to !

6. Think about the race : I didn’t want to say ‘visualise the event’ as that sounds a bit posh, but yes I am going to think about the race, think about how I am going to stay relaxed, how I am going to maintain my pace especially in the narrow sections of the course, when am I going to take in fuel. I’m also thinking about how I am going to feel crossing the finish line with a new PR………. now that makes me smile 🙂

7. And think about the whole day : Each race is different and some have really simple logistics while others are more complicated. Tomorrow involves an early morning 20 mile drive to the finish point, finding a parking spot, catching a shuttle bus to the start, starting in a specific wave etc etc. I will make sure I have a full tank of diesel, a 2nd breakfast packed and warm clothes that can be discarded if needed. I’ve also planned the rest of my day – something fun planned for tomorrow afternoon that means I won’t fall asleep in front of the tv !

8. Relax, think about other things : The work has been done and there’s no more that I can do ! I am feeling excited and a little apprehensive but its time to enjoy myself and reap the rewards of the work :). After steps 1-7 are done, I am going to relax with a group of friends tonight over dinner (and that glass of red wine) and think about non-workout things !!

So that’s it, as simple as that but of course, even the best laid plans can go awry………

Speak soon

Catherine, Age Group girl

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