Monday, November 21, 2011

Marathon plan

Less than a week to go... All that's left is

Monday: Rest.
Tuesday: Lactate test at Marathon pace.
Wednesday: 40 minute easy run
Thursday: 30 minute easy run. Massage. Start carboloading (850g of carbohydrates a day). Cut toenails!
Friday: Rest. Carboload.
Saturday: 20 minute easy run. Carboload.
Sunday: Marathon.

For the race itself, I have printed of this little cheat-sheet to stick on my watch:

In other words, I'll keep my pulse below 164 for the first half and then allow my pulse to drift up to 173 by the end. To check whether I am on pace for the magic sub 3 hours time, I've worked out the times I need to pass each 5km marker. I anticipate having to run the first half at a split of 4:13 per kilometer, allowing me to slow down to a 4:18 split for the second half. I think it is too much to hope for a "negative split" (second half faster than first half) at this kind of pace. This time I am going to go by the official markers and not what the Garmin says. After all, a Marathon aint over until you cross the finish line, even if your GPS reckons you've already covered the 42.2km.

Every 5 kilometers I'll take a salt tablet. I'll carry with me in my Fuel Belt two 8oz flasks full of High5 Isogel (which can be taken without water but I'll drink water at every station). I can carry about 9 of them which works out at a rate of 3 every hour, or about 264 calories per hour. Together with the 3 day carboloading, I hope to avoid hitting the dreaded wall like I managed to do last year.

And that's more or less it. I'll think about running technique as much as I can, focusing on good rhythm, good cadence, engaging the core, not overstriding etc. In particular, my running cues will be:

- to extend the hips (or "punching it forwards" as I call it)
- to get my legs up under me ("sitting down on the job")
- to lean from my ankles ("run tall")
- to pick up the ground quickly ("sharp catch") 

I'll also make sure I am in a good pack, protected from the wind. I'll let myself become hypnotized by the side to side bobbing of the head of the runner in front of me. I will not be scared of the Marathon but I will respect it.

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