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Since my last long run two weeks ago, the taper seems to feel like an anti-climax and for the first time I'm not raring to go out running. Is this common and will I be OK come race day? Whats the best things to do to get motivated during this taper period?
Hello Victor - and thanks for taking the time to help Mine is a first timer's question really - having only trained to 20 miles the extra 6 loom quite large (and seem to be getting larger). Not helped by the fact that people say half the race is to 20 then it really begins. I know I need to treat the marathon with respect but that 'extra 6' is beginning to look harder and longer every time I think about it. I'm slightly worried that over thinking the whole thing is making me become ever more conservative in my aims. Half marathon and 20 mile races indicate I should be able to get a 4.40ish time - but in my head I'm now worrying and thinking I should aim for a 5 hour time so I don't blow everything. Any advice you can give to help me get those little voices in my head to be on my side for a change would be appreciated! Thanks
So the last 6 miles is like another 20, eh? What if it is like 50, 40, 30, 10, 6, 3, 2 or 1? If you predict that it will be massive, a nightmare, then it is likely that it will be. What about double marathon runners or ultra runners, how do they experience miles 20 to 26, 45 to 50, or 56 to 62? Yes, you will be more tired towards the end as your body has done more work by then. But, is the fatigue due to expectation, not enough carbs (a caffeinated gel at mile 18 anyone?) or poor pacing?
RE Times: Consider your training, your form and ability. Many people go off to hard and blow their race by the time 30 minutes is over, but some also are too conservative and wonder at the finish if they should have pushed themselves a bit more. Pick a good pace for you, review it every 5 miles or more often, keep on top of energy levels and enjoy the challenge.
Just interested to know, when we cross the finishing line and collected our bits and pieces, how should we start our recovery process e.g. what to eat and drink and how often and what to avoid? and what stretching exercises should we do after and later on? I'm just thinking of my journey home on the train on monday!
Many thanks in advance
While I’m not a coach or nutritionist, my experience as a triathlete (with some pure run races too) gives these guides:
Move! Walk a bit afterwards to stop the body seizing.
Better: energy drink (if you can stomach it)
Best: flavoured milk or some drink with protein
These fluids within 20 mins, not excessive quantities, 500ml is good.
Then stretch or get massage rub down.
Solid food later. Small to Moderate portions, grazing quite often.
Alcohol isn’t good, but may be desired!
Hi Victor Sorry it's a similar question to Gladrags. I've had 2 marathon experiences that haven't turned out how I had hoped. The wheels seem to fall off by mile 23 and I end up having to walk/run the last 3 miles. But now I'm so worried that I focus on that, and it's almost a self fulfilling prophecy now. How can I have a more positive attitude to the last 6 miles and make sure I get through that final hump when things start to get tough? Thank you
What do you eat (gels, banana, jelly babies?) and drink during the marathon
What if you viewed the race as 30 miles, with the finish sprung on you anytime from miles 25 onwards? Might that change your bogey last 3 miles?
What if with 3 miles to go you were joined by an imaginary friend who was really encouraging? Or an archrival? Or someone who told you that you couldn’t do it? Would any of those ‘events’ help you?
I am entered at VLM (my 4th marathon in 12months) and i have had a horrendous run up with injuries and flu and now I am suffering from overtraining syndrome. I am finding it difficult to decide whether to do the race as I am very competitive and had it in my mind to go for a PB (sub 3:15) but now it is an impossible ask so wondered whether you would advise me to sit out of this one or to do the race and if so what to do in order to get rid of my angst of underperforming.
If you are overtrained, you are very unlikely to get a new PB. Will that be totally dissatisfying?
Can you do it just to enjoy it? No?
Then, my advice would be to walk away, review what led to the overtraining situation, and ensure that you return wise and fresh for another marathon challenge.
Hi Victor, Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions! Mine is a fairly common issue: can you tell me why, after 14 weeks of good training where I've run farther and faster than ever before, 9 days before my first marathon I'm struggling to run 5 miles in less than 10 minute miles? I think I know the answer, and that is that my nerves are getting in the way. The trouble is, every bad run I have makes it worse! Do you have any tips or specific things to do to get myself out of this dip and ready for Sunday, April 22nd? Thank you.
And thanks to you and all others for the questions – I’ve almost kept up the required pace to answer them!
Who hasn’t had a bad run, week, or felt phantom injuries in the lead up to an event. Or, put another way, who’s had a great lead-up without any doubts? Anyone? That’s right, NO ONE.
Maybe you are tired? Maybe you are putting too much into the ‘I need to do this distance at this pace while feeling fantastic’ type of training right now.
The result will be known on Sunday afternoon, not before. So do your last 9 days of training pretty well, then have a good plan which you FOLLOW on Sunday, rise to the challenges, and congratulate yourself for giving it a go. Remember, thousands run it, but millions sit watching it on the sofa. You are risking it, testing yourself, you are one of the brave ones. Well done. You have done so much already!
Sorry guys, I have to go now. Thanks for all your questions. Best of luck to all of you, but don't leave it to chance:
Plan your race weekend,
Talk (internally) nice and helpfully to yourself
And, well done on going out there and testing yourself
You can check out my other tips on the Runners World site or on my website www.sportspsychologist.com
Ivy Mike wrote:
Thanks again for all your questions. I wanted to return to the forum to answer the ones that you had submitted, but that I hadn't managed to get to on Friday.
For all of you doing the VLM - have a great one. Enjoy it (yes, really). Do yourself proud. It's important, but after all, it is still only a run (plus maybe some walking). So try to keep the event in prespective, so you have a greater chance of doing well, having a good day, and walking away with your head held high.