March 10 – Six weeks till race day.
As March rolls in, it reminds us that April is next month and the 2014 Boston Marathon will soon be upon us. Six weeks to go, the final stretch is coming! You are in the midst of doing some of the longer runs in your training regimen. Preparation is key to staying healthy and having a successful Marathon. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Think about your footwear: Your running shoes are generally built to last about 400-500 miles of running. That means the shoes you started your training with should not be the ones you run with in the Marathon. Logging how much distance you have put on each pair of shoes can be helpful. The stability and cushioning that the shoe provides can degrade before showing obvious outward signs of wear. Try not to get to the end of life of one pair of shoes and then move to another; instead break in a new pair while still using the old pair by alternating runs.
Stick to your training plan: This will help you get to your goal of finishing April 21, but will also reduce your risk of injury along the way. Generally, we would not want to exceed a 10% increase of total weekly mileage. Most training plans keep this ‘rule’ in mind. So, even if you feel like you could keep running longer, you’re better off sticking to your planned mileage.
Practice your race day routine: While you are thinking more about adding miles as we get closer to race day, don’t forget to think of the other big things that go into running a successful marathon. Make sure you plan for what types of foods you will eat the day of and night before; what clothes you will be wearing; and other things you might need like sunscreen, sports lube, band aids, etc. The day of the Marathon is not the time to try something new. Taking the time to figure out what works for you is important and will make everything go smoother!
Don’t ignore pain: With all the training and miles you are doing, sometimes pain or discomfort can be part of the process. If this is getting in the way of your training or preventing you from running, go see a medical professional. Factors that are associated with having pain with running include running every day without a break, weekly mileage over 40 and having a history of previous injury. The sooner the better, especially at this point! Most of the time some advice or small changes in your training can make a big difference.