Sports Medicine Specialist Richard D’Agostino, MD offers some tips to help you stay the course all the way to race day.
How do you handle the last few weeks leading up to a big race? You have dedicated months to training. You’ve re-arranged your schedule to fit it all in. You’ve spent hours of time and covered countless miles running. Chances are most of this training has taken place before sunrise, or after dark, while others are sleeping or relaxing at home. Congratulations for getting to this point. Now, in the final stretch, it’s important to keep the following advice in mind.
DON’T OVER TRAIN
The lion’s share of your training has already occurred. Now is not the time to radically ramp up your training, or try to make up for past lapses in your training program. Too much training in the final stages before a big race only increases your chance for an injury that could put you on the sidelines instead of the starting gate. Have confidence in the incredible amount of work you have done, and maintain your momentum during the home stretch.
FOCUS ON FUEL
It’s extremely important for endurance athletes, particularly those new to the sport, to focus on fuel in these final days of training. Proper hydration, nutrition, and sleep are as important as training and will give you the energy reserves you’ll need to safely reach your goal.
Regardless of what inspired you to take part in this year’s Marathon, now is the time to remind yourself of the reason you began this process and the progress you’ve made. You are about to accomplish a goal you may have never thought possible. Congratulate yourself for that and remember to thank everyone else who helped you get to the finish line.