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'26.2' - The Marathon Training Website: 


Marathon Countdown!

After several months of marathon training it always feels good to be heading into the final training weeks. Now is the time to focus on your goal and get mentally prepared for race day. However many runners however have difficulty with the last few weeks of training. I know more than one marathon runner who put in a 20 mile run only two weeks before the marathon - because they thought they needed the extra training. For most runners, doing a 20-miler so close to the race date will do you more harm than good.

This article has some good tips and training advice to help you get the most benefit from the last few weeks of training...


Are you currently training for a marathon?



Proper Tapering
Tapering off your training is really important to the success of your marathon. Avoid the temptation to ‘catch up’ on any missed miles! With just a week or two left before the event you will not get any real benefit by extending your training. Most runners should also avoid speed work and races in the tapering period.
In the final two weeks your mileage should be in the following range, depending on your performance level:

Week 2:  25 - 35
Week 1:  10 - 20

Here is a typical mileage schedule for the week before the race


















I like to run an easy 3-miler the day before the marathon. This will ease the stress of worrying about the race, and helps to keep you ‘loose’ for the next day.

The Psychological Edge
During the tapering period many marathoners feel aches and pains that weren’t there before. This adds to the anxiety level, and the more you fret over it, the worse it will get. I know lots of people (myself included) who have ended up catching a cold the week before the race.

You have to remind yourself you have just spent the last four months training for the marathon, and you are as fit and ready for the race as you can be. Think about your training runs and focus on the ones you did well and enjoyed. These positive images will help get you through the last ten days.




Eat Healthy
Try to maintain a good all-round diet the last two weeks before the race. Stick to your normal eating habits but increase the amount of carbohydrates you consume during the three days prior to the race. The night before you’ll probably go with the traditional carbo’ loading meal like pasta. I prefer to have my main pasta meal two days before the race, instead of the the night before. If you do this you shouldn't have any upset tummy problems on race day if you ate too much. (I still have a light pasta supper the night before the race). It's best to eat earlier in the evening so you’ll sleep as well as possible.

Drink Lots of Water.
If you are well hydrated you will run a better marathon. This means you should start increasing your fluid intake several days before race. Don’t wait until just the the day before!

The countdown days to the marathon pose a lot of difficulties for the average runner. However just being aware of the different things that can affect you will help you cope. If you have been training with other runners, you can support each other, and enjoy a little joking around about the upcoming challenge.





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