I consider myself a marathon runner, but this winter/spring season, I decided to forgo training for a marathon to focus on my speed, and run some smaller races instead. My overall goal is to achieve a faster marathon time in the fall through the speed work and tempo runs I am concentrating on for shorter races now.
My next race is a 10K, which is considerably shorter than a marathon’s 26.2 miles. Of course, I feel certain I will finish the race, but I have given myself an ambitious time goal. As the day approaches, there are a few things I do for race preparation. Here is a general list that anyone can follow during the week leading up to a race.
1. Wear racing shirts on the days leading up to the race to mentally prepare you for race mode.
2. Eat a very healthy, well-rounded diet, without cheating, the week of the race.
3. Drink more water than normal the week of the race.
4. Get plenty of sleep that week, particularly 2 nights prior to raceday. Chances are you won’t sleep well the night before, so sleeping well 2 nights before will help make up for that.
5. Mostly easy runs that week. One short and fast run to remind your legs that you can run fast is all you need on race week. You won’t gain anything by working out hard this week.
6. Remind yourself of your goals. Don’t get sucked into other people’s goals and mantras. Have confidence in yourself and stay focused on your reason(s) for running.
These are just a few suggestions to get you on track. Over time, people come up with their own rituals. Whatever yours are, good luck on race day!