Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Race prep – woodlands marathon

After 18 weeks of training, I will be able to call myself a marathoner in just a few short days! Although my excitement to conquer this race has pretty much been taking over my thoughts lately, I have been trying to turn my focus towards making sure I am properly prepped to run this new distance. I also need to make sure I go into the race with a good strategy to help eliminate any potential problems on the course.

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Current Weather Forecast

A little on the warmer side, but the cloudiness should help with that. I’m definitely not complaining about that weather though – I am just grateful I don’t have to wear my cold weather running gear!

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Nutrition Preparation

Some people carbo-load 1-2 nights before a race. I, however, prefer to increase my carb intake consistently 5-6 days before a race. I do this because it helps to eliminate over-stuffing myself in one day, and therefore reduces the possibility of GI stress on race morning.

Breakfast Monday-Friday: Oatmeal with almond milk and a banana, all topped with cinnamon.
Lunch Monday-Friday: Mashed sweet potatoes topped with goat cheese (I know it sounds like an odd combo, but it is delicious) with veggies on the side.
Snacks: I usually have mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks. This week, they will include items such as granola bars, mandarin oranges, and pretzel twists.
Dinner Monday-Friday: Differs each evening, but ranges from breakfast tacos with hash browns to spaghetti with garlic bread.
Hydration: I will be consistently drinking water and water mixed with Nuun throughout the week.

Physical Preparation

Rest: I am going to try to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night this week.
Yoga: I will do my yoga sessions Tuesday and Thursday to help with flexibility and relieve any stress build-up.
Exercise: I have easy 3-mile runs on Monday and Wednesday, and a 2-mile walk on Thursday.
Preventative Care: I will be stretching and foam rolling EVERY day this week, as well as doing an ice bath once to help ease any possible soreness and refresh my leg muscles.

Race Strategy

Pre-Race Fuel: I will be eating my usual pre-race breakfast, which includes a Clif Bar and a banana.
Race Fuel: I will alternate between a Honey Stinger energy gel and half a Honey Stinger waffle every 45 minutes (approximately 6 times during the race total).
Hydration: There are water/electrolyte stops every 1.5 miles starting at mile 2. I will only be wearing a fuel belt, not a hydration belt. This will help reduce the amount of weight I carry, as well as reduce possible GI stress. I plan on walking through all the water stops, and alternating between water and electrolytes, to make sure I stay properly hydrated.
Outfit: I will be wearing moisture wicking material of course, Zensah compression sleeves, and my ASICS shoes with Experia Thorlo socks.
Pace: I feel as though I have done a decent job on keeping an even pace during my long-runs over the course of training. My goal is to start slower and gradually gain speed so hopefully I can still have a good amount of energy for the last 10K portion of the race.

Overall Goal

My overall goal for this race is to enjoy the experience, especially since I get to run with one of my best friends! Regarding time, I would really like to finish in less than 5 hours, which I think is very reasonable and realistic for my first marathon!

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QOTD: How do you prepare for a new race distance?

18 comments

  1. You are so prepared, I admire your organization! You got this Lauren, so excited for you!!

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  2. You've done the work, now time for some fun :)

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  3. First of all...I LOVE the new blog design! It looks AMAZING!

    Secondly, it sounds like you are READY. You've put in the training, you have solid race plan in place...and now it's time to take your victory lap and enjoy the experience. You've got this! :-D I can't wait to read all about it; you won't need it, but best of luck to you!

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    1. Thanks, I love the way everything turned out!!

      Yes, victory lap - well put! The hardest part is over, now to enjoy the epic-ness of the race!

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  4. "Marathoner"... I'm getting excited for you.
    So much goes into a race, doesn't it? The week before - the prep with food, getting the clothes laid out, getting mentally prepared. Its a lot...
    You're prepared - no doubt!

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    1. Thanks, Rebecca!! It really is amazing how much planning goes into a race... 26.2 miles is no joke, though, so I want to be 100% ready! :0)

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  5. It doesn't sound like this is your first marathon! You've got such a great plan for this week and for your race. I know you're going to have a lot of fun!

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    1. Thanks, Tina! Gotta love that Type A personality of mine... definitely a blessing, but at times can feel like a curse too, haha! :0)

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  6. I am so excited for you Lauren! It sounds like you are very prepared. I am anxious to hear what this course is like. Are you nervous at all?

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    1. Thanks!! I definitely am a little nervous, but the extra preparation helps to make up for it :0)

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  7. Girl, you are so ready. I will be praying for you today and tomorrow. You'll rock the marathon and you'll be surprised and how well you did. Enjoy your first race. Can't wait to hear all about it!!! {hugs} Oh, and thanks for the sweet comments on my blog. You rock!!!

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    1. Thank you so much Cintia, I will definitely enjoy the race! *hugs back*

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  8. What a great pre-race strategy!! This is a great post for reference! :)

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  9. I love how organized your race prep strategy was! It clearly paid off. :) Congrats!

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    1. Thanks, Jess! It definitely paid off for a great race experience!

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