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In just 25 days time I will be lining up with thousands of other runners attempting my 5th marathon…likely to be my last.

Marathons are tough (state the obvious Ju)

Not only physically, but they impact on your life in every possible way.

You think you have ages to train and then before you know it the big event is just weeks away.

My training has been a bit stop start.

I ran New York in November, took a short break and then was back on it in December. January was great and then February a bit sketchy and then last week I was knocked for 6 with a chest infection and cold which is still lingering.

I will be heading out for my longest run this Friday and then will come the taper….not perfect prep, but it is what it is…what’s a girl to do?

If this is your first marathon you may not be aware of what is around the corner during the taper…it is what seasoned marathon runners like to call Maranoia…where you literally become paranoid of everything going wrong.

Classic signs of Maranoia

  • Nightmares
  • Aching joints
  • Feeling like you are coming down with something
  • Unusually tired
  • Even short runs are tough
  • Worrying unnecessarily about logistics

And basically just worrying that you won’t be able to get round.

NONE OF THIS IS HELPFUL…NONE OF IT!!!

So here are 5 confidence boosting things you can do during the next few weeks to take your mind of it

Eat Well

Now is not the time to start carb loading…no seriously. You do not want to be carrying any additional lbs around those 26.2 miles…now this is not to say start dieting, just don’t use your up coming marathon as an excuse to over eat.
As your mileage comes down, so should your fuel intake. You can’t go wrong focussing on as much whole foods, fruits and vegetables too. This will help you feel energised come race day, without guilt and also all of those nutrients will help ward off any nasty bugs.

Use this additional time to draw up a meal plan, and perhaps even to think about what you might eat after the big run…although often I am too fatigued to eat…after New York I was asleep by 8pm without supper…woke up the next morning ravenous!!!

Take your supplements

I like to keep my immune system boosted in the run up to a big race. Echinacea, Vitamin C, a probiotic…I also take supplements for my joints and to manage inflammation, giving my muscles the best chance of getting ready for race day.

Keeping my water intake high and avoiding alcohol is a given too

Deal with the logistics

Rather than worrying about them, work them out. Be pragmatic, ask for advice, be smart about what you need on the day. You are the athlete, think clearly about what is going to support you, not what is going to support your loved ones. BE SELFISH. If they want to go traipsing around London the day before fine…but stay at the hotel and chill out, or hang out at the expo. You may only ever do this race once…do it your way.

Race day logistics are very cleverly thought through so read the instructions and follow them. Seek advice from those who have done London before…don’t try to beat the system in any way.

Put an emergency plan in place and make sure you communicate this clearly with loved ones. There are a heap of people in the city on race day, phone signals are not always great and you need everyone to know what to do if you race doesn’t go to plan for any reason.

Slow down

No I am not talking about your running (although thats not a bad idea too), but look at your diary and your day to day responsibilities and make sure you are not burning the candle at both ends.

In the days leading up to the race you don’t want to be rushing around tiring yourself out. You have put your body through some tough times and it is about to be pushed to its limits again…so schedule in some rest days…where you lay like Broccoli.

Sort out your mindset

Spend some time visualising your successful run. Think about the moments you want to take in, and the tactics you are going to use to keep on top of your nerves, and to keep you motivated around the course.

Have a mantra…mine is “I am strong, this is easy”

Block out any negative comments from loved ones, do not let them be negative around you, do not let them scare you.

Remember why you signed up for this in the first place.

It is often said that less than 1% of the population will ever run a marathon, I’m not sure how true that is anymore…but for sure more people will never run one than those that will.

You are incredible.

Remember that.

Oh and if you training hasn’t gone to plan be sensible, make the right choice as to whether to make the start line, but either way don’t self sabotage in the next few weeks, you can still make some micro improvements through good nutrition and sensible exercise…I for one will be doing daily yoga and continuing to do my CrossTraining to ensure my fitness levels are right.

Be proactive, make the next 4 weeks count. There is not much more running you can do now, but there are still a heap of things still within your control.

Featured in the photo from this post is the lovely Sue who ran London a couple of years back. This year we will have around 15 women from the Too Fat to Run community running London, including one of the pacers (which makes me super proud)
You can also come and join us at our just before mile 10 cheer station (near Surrey Quays) drop me an email at help@toofattorun.co.uk so we can send you some details.

If you havn’t yet got your head around what you should be doing the next few weeks and on race day, you can’t go wrong with my popular book The Fat Girls Guide to Marathon Running

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