And for a Sunday, I would like to share what I have learnt about preparing for Raceday, while my training for Full Marathons.
- Use the next two Sundays (Long runs) to find your race pace. And do hold this for the race. I have learned the hard way, by over reaching and blowing my race. And there is NO WAY that we can run faster on race day than what we have trained for. So try and keep that in perspective. Race pace should feel a little hard, but not that much that it will tire you by half time. I would think this could be slightly faster than conversational for full marathoners. A conservative pace could help you finish stronger. The way you train is the way you race. The numbers of these long runs are your best indicator.
- Practice your fuelling plan. This strategy needs to be thought about and tried out to know whether it works or not. Whatever it may be-Fast and Up Reload, gel, khajoor or a home made mix. As we all know, we should not try anything new on race day.
- Go through the race mentally. From the morning, the plan for breakfast, hydration, and the actual race. Visualize the start, with your warm up, and then slowly getting into the rhythm. Anticipate which parts you could find challenging and have a strategy for that. Preparation is the key. And “God is in the details.” The brain needs to be told what to do. Don’t let the brain decide on the fly! If you have a plan, then in the case of crisis, you will know what to do. Have a Plan for the last 10km. A Plan for Peddar road. A Plan for the last 6 km.
- Find a positive mantra for the slog kilometres.
“I can do it.
“I have the strength.”
“I have come here to run, not to walk!”
“ Mind over Matter”
“Doin’ good, feelin’ fine!”
Practice this on your long run, so that it gets embedded in the brain. This should become a part of your muscle memory. Only when it becomes a part of you, will you be able to use this strategy on Raceday.
5. Focus on your form when you feel the pace dipping. Relax your body from head to toe. Focus on the shoulders, relax them, and ensure that there is no tightness in arms and hands. Shake them all out. Take a deep breath to tell the brain that all is fine.
6. Visualize the race finish while completing these runs. See the clock with the time you want to finish in. Tell yourself, that on race day I will finish just as strong as I am running now. Imagine yourself flying across that finish line smiling. (After all, photos are important!) And when the finish line (the end!) approaches, our legs will begin to move faster to finish strong. WILL IT! And you will do it!!
So run well, the end is near! 🙂