Prep and Raceday Plan for my First Marathon

I am still feeling pretty excited about next weekends’ race, fingers crossed I don’t go crazy during the taper and turn into a ball of nerves. I plan to go into this race ready to conquer it. A lot of planning is involved in gearing up to run a long distance race, including volume of running, nutrition, race day clothing, warm-up, fuel, and best of all, the post-race celebration!

Running: I have about 43km of running total to do between now and the marathon next Sunday, not much considering my total weekend mileage is often around that. The longest remaining run is a mere 13km. Considering I ran about 100km last week, the 2 weeks pre-race involve a significant decrease in running volume. The goal is for the legs to have a chance to recover from all the training and be ready to hold marathon pace throughout the race.

Nutrition: I have been extra hungry these last few days, not too sure why, it’s almost as though my body knows it will need all the healthy food it can get in preparation for this race. I am making sure I give my body what it needs and if I am hungry, it means I eat, but I always make sure I’m getting enough carbs, protein and fat, not too much of one macronutrient  and too little of another. For running, carbs are and will always be king, but protein and fat can’t be neglected.

For dinner, pre-race, I will likely have pasta, cliche I know, but it works. I will either have some form of protein in the pasta or on the side. For breakfast, I will have hot oatmeal, gotta stick to your regular foods so you know your body will react well.

Race Outfit: As of now, the weather report is saying it will be 14 degrees on race day. There is still ample time for that to change of course. I think I will bring two options: a singlet and split leg shorts, and a t-shirt and crops. I will be forgoing the hat for fear of how long the forehead dent would remain after running 3+ hrs with a hat on. The non-negotiables are my Saucony Hurricane Iso 2’s, Flip Belt (best running accessory ever) and my Garmin (duh).

Pre-race Warm-up: Typically, I warm-up for 15-20 minutes before running a race. This is true for distances beginning at 5km all the way up to half-marathons. The marathon distance will be the exception, my warm-up with be a measly 5 minutes, so as not to use up energy needed for the race.

Fuel: What I will be taking throughout the race is an energy gel called Endurance Tap, they are just sachets of maple syrup and I plan on fuelling every 30 minutes. Fuelling this often really helps me continue to feel great, I recommend trying it. Since I will be taking at least 6 gels, my one concern is that I might get sick of taking so many of these maple ones. I am still deciding whether I want to alternate them with another gel that I have also trained with.

Post-Race: My first wish is to be able to walk. Aside from that, I am sure I will be ready to eat something large and not ingest anymore gels. I also imagine I will be looking forward to a long, hot shower or bath (if I can’t stand). Following that, I am planning to meet up with some fellow EVRC folks to celebrate over a craft beverage or two at my favourite beer bar in Victoria, The Drake.

What do you do in the days leading up to a race to prepare?

2 thoughts on “Prep and Raceday Plan for my First Marathon

  1. That is so great you are feeling excited! I am definitely a mix of excitement and nerves. I have also been super hungry these past few days. I think it is pretty normal based on everyone else I have talked to! I think a lot of it is even just your body catching up to you (after so many weeks of intense training). I wore a hat for BMO and I am so, so glad I did because it was a really hot day and it actually kept the sweat off my face! Honestly I didn’t even notice it… Haha.

    Yay for post-race celebrations! That makes me excited. Post-BMO one of my friends brought a warm JJ Bean muffin to the finish line. It is honestly the best thing I EVER ATE! Haha! Ok that may just be the race talking, but it was pretty fantastic.

    Can’t wait to hear about you crushing this race!!


  2. It always felt like the taper was almost as challenging as the marathon itself; the not running much so as to be able to run much more. Like the marathon, it was a battle of nerves or, rather, thinking. Mostly I ran anyway, during the taper week, rather than letting the anxiety build up. As for the race, training and ability usually got me through the first 30 to 35k. As for those remaining, it was mostly mental game-playing: singing songs to myself in time with my pace, telling myself I’d quit at the next kilometre marker, targeting runners ahead of me to catch, thinking of where I’d be in Rosedale this far from the finish line or looking for the big red triangular Citgo sign looming over Kenmore Square. I miss that but look forward to hearing about your experiences.


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