The final few days before any major sports event is full of excitement!! Be it the organizers or the participants there are tight timelines and targets to achieve.
The focus is of course on the participants and both the amateur and professional marathon runners who are preparing for the D-day in their own manner.
Placed below are a few “health tips“ which will help you during this final phase before the race and during the event: The first three focus on the “mind “ and the balance of the “body”. It is this combination of mind and body, which will help you get your best performance
- Rest is best!
Some amount of anxiety is expected because of the event. It is best to just chill out and reduce the outside stresses in your life as much as possible the last week. Try to have work projects under control, politely decline invitations to late nights out, and so on. Most of all, stay off your feet–save museum tours and shopping sprees for after the marathon
- Focus on sleep.
It sounds obvious, but many runners get so jittery about the race that they forget to factor in the most important component of all. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep every night this week. If you’re coming in from out of town make sure you reach well in time to adapt and adjust your biorhythm especially if you have come from a different time zone.
- Visualize Success
While the event has a lot of competitors every runner is running only against him or herself!! Many time over the day and positively before going to bed, or first thing in the morning, visualize yourself crossing the finish line as the clock shows a new personal best.
- Stick with familiar foods.
The most important dietary advice is to stick with what you know your body can already handle. Its tempting to try new and exotic food especially if you have traveled from outstation for the race. But save that for after the event!
- Carbo-Load, Don’t Fat-Load
Estimates put the burn rate at about 100 calories per mile. That adds up to a whopping 2,600 calories for the entire race. During the last three days, concentrate on eating carbohydrate-rich foods, such as pasta, potatoes, bread, fruit and fruit juice, and sports drinks. It’s the carbs, after all, not fat or protein, that will fuel you on race day. It is important that there is an increase in the percentage of your calories that come from carbs, not simply eating more of everything.
- Eat breakfast roughly two hours before race time.
Two to three hours before the start, “eat a carbohydrate-rich breakfast, even if that means getting up at an ungodly hour and going back to bed,” says Girard Eberle. The reason: As you slept, your brain was active and using the glycogen (stored carbohydrate) from your liver. Breakfast restocks those stores, so you’ll be less likely to run out of fuel. Aim for a few hundred calories, such as a bagel and banana or toast and a sports bar. “At the minimum,” says Girard Eberle, “consume a sports recovery drink or a bland, well-tolerated liquid food such as Ensure or Boost.”
- Drink water…and more water. & remember the electrolytes
During prolonged exercise, our thirst mechanism doesn’t keep up with our actual needs and as you become dehydrated, less oxygen and fuel is delivered to working muscles, and you run slower. Taking in carbohydrates and fluid early will help postpone or prevent serious dehydration or carbohydrate depletion later, so you’ll be a lot more likely to maintain your pace. Try to guzzle a couple water bottles a day for the entire week leading up to the run. It’ll help get your body seriously hydrated for the main event. Don’t drink obsessively: Drink when you’re thirsty; that will get the job done.
On the Race Day-
Drink on the Run: Practice during your remaining long and semi-long runs with the sports drink and energy gels you intend to refuel with during the race,” Remember that sports drinks do triple duty when compared with water by providing fluid, carbohydrates, and electrolytes, the most important being sodium.”
Over-hydration can be also an issue due to drinking plain water by marathon runners and causing low sodium due dilutions, so listen to your body :
Thirst is the signal that you are getting dehydrated : Drink Early & Often during the race
Enjoy the race … enjoy the journey and results will follow!