Mambu Baddu
"The best is yet to come"

Pre-Race Advice (for Houston Marathon 1/15/2017)

Posted by Sean Wade on January 13, 2017 in Announcements

Hi Runners,

Here are a few tip for the days leading up to the race. I will also send out another email Friday regarding pacing and goal setting once the weather forecast is more certain.

If you are running the marathon and the weather is warm and humid like currently predicted I strongly recommend then you add salt tabs to your fueling during the race.  I certainly would be taking them if I were running the marathon.  It can help delay and may prevent over heating and cramping.  CarboPro has the best salt tabs (MetaSalts) on the market and Katrina has ordered extra bottles if you would like to get some before the race.  Just reply to this email if you wish to pick some up. You can read about them on our Fuel Page.

As we prepare for the big race this weekend,  I wanted to give you my thoughts on pre-race routine as well as the race itself.

All the training has been done!

No last minute workout can help you, rather - it will hurt you. So, just easy jogging 30-50% of your normal mileage at this point.

If you are running the marathon, the secret will be your ability to treat it just like any other long run with a little carbo-loading.  
You should not stress about the race or the weather or what might go wrong.  

You can only control what you can control.  

Staying relaxed this week is super important - if you stress about your upcoming race you will reduce your chances of success.
Stress can lead to all kinds of problems - lack of sleep, digestion problems with your fuel and poor performance.

Try to get as much sleep as possible this week because sleeping the night before a race can be difficult.  
Even if you get a very poor sleep on Saturday, if you slept well on Thursday and Friday night you will be fine on Sunday.  
The night before the race is not the most important night's sleep.

Have an appropriate time goal.  

If this is your first marathon, then be conservative and make sure you negative split by going easy the first half of the race.
If training has not been great or the weather is bad, then adjust your time goals.  
If you have a strict time goal (i.e. qualify for Boston) and the weather is bad or you have been sick or nursing an injury, dont run - pick another marathon to do next month.

You should treat the marathon like a 20 mile run and a 6 mile race.  
No matter how good you feel during the race, you need to stick to your race pace.  
Aim for every mile to be within a ten second range - 5 seconds either side of your goal pace. Then the last 4-6 miles you can drop the pace.  

Never try to bank time in the first half by running it faster because you will likely just lose much more time in the second half of your race.  
Run an even pace and if you can't pick up the pace the last 4-6 miles then you would never have been able to hold pace if you started faster

Never try to make up for lost time in the early miles.   If you lose a minute because you were stuck in traffic then run 5 sec faster per mile over the next 12 miles to make it up.

The plan should be to get to your goal race pace ASAP in the race.  
Keep close to that goal pace for as long as you can then pick up the pace with 4-6 miles to go. No matter how good you feel, do not pick up the pace before then!

You should not eat and drink like crazy this week to carbo-load.  
The goal is to increase the percentage of carbohyrates in your diet.  
You will be running less this week so you dont want to increase your food intake thinking more carbs is better.
It is ok to put on 2-3 pounds before race day but not 5-10 pounds.  
Just have pasta for lunch and dinner on Friday and Saturday and that should be enough.  
Add a sports drink to those meals and you will have done the job.  
The night before the race at bed time you want to top up your fuel by taking a carb or protein snack or drink.  
In the morning do the same thing but make sure you are eating and drinking the same stuff you have already used before long runs or workouts.

Nothing new this week - No new socks or shoes or tights.  
Do what you have done in training.
Do not pick up some new gadget at the expo and use it.  

Don't spend all day at the expo.  Get down there and have a quick look around and get out.

Dress in layers for the race and wear stuff you can throw away

Cut the tangents on the road.  No point running 26.5 miles if you can keep it close to 26.2.

Run with an experienced runner - try to hook up with someone who you train with or a pace group to help you stay on task.  They will should be good at running even pace and saving the best for last.

Don't believe your Garmin all the time.  Splits can vary on your garmin and sometimes may not match the mile markers.   So, you need to know what your time should be at different points on the course to make sure you are on pace to achieve your goal.
Pay attention to the  time on YOUR WATCH.  Know what your split should be at the 10K, Half marathon and 20 mile mark  
Don't rely 100% on your Garmin.

If using a Garmin make sure your main screed includes LAP PACE.  This setting will give you the most accurate prediction of your pace for the current mile.  
I have two screens on my watch for a marathon.  LAP PACE and PREVIOUS LAP PACE.  
I want to know what I am currently riunning and what my last mile was.  
I use the mile markers on the course and my regular watch to check my 10k, Half Marathon, 20 mile splits.  Sometimes the average on your Garmin may not be correct.

If you start struggling out there, work on shortening your stride and quickening your turnover.  
Use the person next to you or in front of you to help you focus.

Good luck everyone.