The last two pre-SCMM Long Runs

And for a Sunday, I would like to share what I have learnt about preparing for Raceday, while my training for Full Marathons.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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! 🙂



13 thoughts on “The last two pre-SCMM Long Runs

  • Thanks Parul for this peice…It is really helpful…However each one is a different body type….I have always run faster than my practice run on the race day…So I save the best for the last…From FM 6.06 in 2012 I have a PB of 4.37….Wanna do a sub 4 this year…My practice runs say 4.15 is a reality…But I m gonna push for sub 4….

  • Thank you Parul. You have put this in such a simple, straightforward manner..

    I have come to run not walk
    I have come to run not walk….

  • Hi Parul
    Read your book – highly inspired – thanks for writing it
    Wanted your help – this year have been practicing quite well and strengthening and stretching too is as per plan – ram Delhi HM with a PB of 2.18. – injury free, ran vasai virar – similar timing : however at the end around 4 kms before got calf pain – could complete the run but the pain continues – doing regular icing and strengthening – but last Sunday long run could feel the pain after 12 kms and had to considerably slow down in the last 3 kms
    I want to know how should I approach my last few days of training – hills, tempo and long runs ? Should I just rest and not run for a week ? Should I continue but with reduced speed ? A bit confused

    • Hey Parag. Due to the consistent pain it may be a good idea to consult a Physio. And running with pain could further the damage. I do suggest rest and some expert advise. There are still 3 weeks to recover before SCMM. The time for training is anyways over. It’s taper now. So you will be set! 🙂
      Congratulations on your PBs. Great running. And all the best for SCMM.

  • Hello Ma’am
    Many thanks for putting this up. I am sure it would helps many runner in achieving their best.
    Can you also please advise on speed workout for next few weeks. I am training by my own plan running interval and tempo runs on Tuesday and Thursday apart from doing long run over weekends. I am targetting 4:10 and feel I have a decent base to run those 26 miles.

    Shall I continue focus on speed during weekday run and endurance on weekends.

    Thanks in Advance.

    • Oh yes Ashish. Best way. Speed work at paces slightly faster than your race pace on weekdays. And on your long run let it be a combination of easy pace and marathon pace running. Get comfortable at your race pace. Taper well. And see the magic on raceday! All the best! 🙂 hope this helps.

  • I will be running full marathon so what should be my strategy for the first 10 kms and last 10 kns . I also want to know about peddar road as I have never seen that area and what exactly should I do to cross that particular stretch comfortably .

    • Hi Sharmila. First of all congratulations for you running your first! It’s a big achievement.
      Since this is your first my suggestion would be that your goal should be to finish the distance with a smile. Just run easy. At conversation pace. Enjoy the run. The people. The atmosphere. Don’t worry about the time. Just keep going. One foot in front of the other. Ideally your first 2/3 km should be slow like a warm up. And then get into comfortable pace. Never breathe hard.
      As regards peddar road, it is a tough part of the race since it is an incline which comes to late in the race. At 35km. See how you feel when you get there. And to share something with you- I have always walked it up , so that I conserve my energy and can push in the last 6km. So see what your body tells you.
      As regards the last 10km- I’m assuming it will be a zone which you have never ventured in previously. So …go with feel. Go in prepared knowing it’s going to be hard. And give it your best. Run it at your best effort. Whatever that may be. Make a strategy for it and stick to it. All the best. Run strong.

  • Ran my first ever marathon 42.2 km on 11th Dec @ Vasai Virar…..last 70 minuts or 7 km was felt like death race….laughed…cried….died….crawled….decided not to run any more from tomorrow……next morning decided to run all SCMM 42.200 only..You and your book has also played key role…

    • Congratulations! That is such a perfect finish to a first FM! We all did that! 🙂
      Superb! see you at SCMM…all the best…may you fly across the finish line!

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