Marathon Day Beckons

Taper is nearly done, training is nearly done, and you’re nearly done.

There beckoning in the immediate distance, is the marathon.

The target that has up to now seemed as distant as the distance it covers. Now not so far away, within touching distance, you can almost taste it, smell it, feel it and believe me marathon day will be a riot for the senses so be prepared – particularly for you London types the assault of that tunnel around Blackfriars as you enter the last five miles.

Right now you’re probably excited that there’s just the race number to collect and then its race time. Finally, your work is going to be put into practice. Bring it on!

Just about now, you’re probably really nervous as you face up to what you have put yourself in to.

Now you’ll be daunted at the prospect of putting yourself in for this, whether to raise money for charity, and/or as a personal challenge. Wow!

Now feeling pleased with yourself, you’re glad you’ve done this, it’s been a great challenge to get this far and now you’re ready. Ready?

But now doubt, am I really ready? Have I prepared enough? Has my taper been right? Where’s my favourite socks?

Now anticipation, this is going to be an amazing experience, think of the crowds, think how it is going to feel finally crossing that line. But…

What’s that niggle in my leg, you now worry. Is that serious? I haven’t felt that before? Is it just a twinge, or something more serious? Do I need taping? Another massage? Some more stretching? More carbs? Another short jog?

You can rearrange the above into the order that suits how your mind has been working in the last week or so.

As inactive as we feel in this all important taper period as we await the race, it seems as if the mind deliberately seeks to be as active as we have been during our training. This can be disconcerting as you are sure you should be feeling very positive leading up to race day and other negative stuff seems to come piling in. As far as I can see this is just another part of the marathon journey, something to be got through so you can leap into the arms of marathon come race day.

So what should you do?

  • Try to get as much sleep as you can. Early bedtimes are probably the best way of boosting your bodies self-repair and energy reserves.
  • Eat as normally as you can without trying anything particularly new. Stick to regular mealtimes and quantities – there’s no need to overeat.
  • Have a jog if you feel like it, but don’t, if you don’t.
  • Do some gentle stretching and rolling.
  • Avoid tottering round the expo for hours. Your legs won’t thank you in the last 5 miles of the marathon if you’ve spent ages walking around the expo looking at new socks.
  • Pack your kit early and check you’ve got the expected weather covered with your kit choices.
  • Plan your route to the start and allow plenty of time to get there, your legs won’t thank you in the last 5 miles if you’re rushing to get to the start before the race has even begun.

Most importantly…………

Enjoy that you have got here. Think back to the really tough parts of your training where you thought this is never going to happen, I’m never going to get there, this is just too damn hard.

You have done it, you’re here and it is paramount that you enjoy the event. Approaching it from a happy place, celebratory even, is likely to mean you will have a good time, run a good time, enjoy marathon time.

You are about to have an experience you won’t forget quickly and whether you decide to do it again. You’ve run the right to be here, you’ve run yourself ready, revel in it, you’ve worked hard, you deserve the plaudits.

Now go and prove your biggest doubter….YOURSELF….totally wrong.

Enjoy the race.


About Simon Tanner

Nine time marathon runner, having run Brighton x6, London x2, and Manchester x1, finally got a London ballot place after 7 consecutive attempts. I try to write about things I'm going through / have gone through in training to help others attain their running goals, whatever the distance.
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