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Tips for the Week Before a Marathon

With the London marathon less than a month away, we’re seeing plenty of clients at our Camden clinic gearing up for the big day. We’ve been tailoring our treatment plans to support them through the training beforehand, the race itself, and the hugely important recovery period afterwards. To help you plan and feel prepared for your race, we’re sharing our top tips for preparing the week before a marathon.

A person in shorts running on the road

Taper your training

‘Tapering’ is the process of reducing the intensity and distance of your runs in the last 2-3 weeks of training. This gives your body essential time to rest and restore before race day, while reducing your risk of injury.

In the final week of your training plan, keep your runs under 10 miles, avoid hills, and feel free to add in some walking. This is not the time to challenge yourself: aim for easy and relaxed runs.

Get plenty of sleep

Sufficient sleep will aid your body’s recovery processes and ensure you feel calm and rested on the morning of your marathon. If your race starts early, prepare for this with early nights and early mornings, getting your run in first thing. This will get your body used to running early in the morning and avoid a shock to the system at the start line.

Not to worry if nerves and excitement make it difficult to fall asleep the night before – if you’ve been getting plenty of sleep in the week leading up to the marathon, one night of poor sleep won’t affect your performance.

Consider nutrition

Hopefully you’ve been eating a balanced diet throughout your training plan, so stick with this in the final week. While you may be tempted to ‘carb-load’ in the days leading up to your event, current research suggests excessive carbohydrate intake isn’t necessary. In fact, changes to your diet at this point can cause more harm than good.

The best course is to stick to your routine – don’t introduce any new meal plans or foods that you might not react well to. Avoid eating too late the night before the race, giving your body plenty of time to digest before sleep.

Drink enough water

Adequate hydration increases energy levels and reduces the risk of injury, so make sure you’re drinking plenty of water. Drinking little and often is the best way to stay hydrated and will avoid unnecessary bathroom breaks along the way!

Prepare the night before

During the week, make a checklist of everything you’ll need to bring with you, such as snacks and hydration sachets, a change of clothes and sunscreen. Pack your bag the night before, and make sure you’ve tried out everything in your kit on at least two runs.

Read the race instructions

Make sure you’ve read through all the pre-race information and have a clear idea of where you need to be, at what time, and how to get there. Plan your travel in advance, leaving a decent buffer for delays.

Most importantly, remember to relax, have fun and celebrate yourself! Taking part in a marathon is an incredible achievement, and the culmination of all the hard work you’ve put in over the past several months.

Are you gearing up for a big sporting event? Or maybe you’re just starting out on your running/lifting/movement journey. Our friendly team of experienced Osteopaths and Physiotherapists are here to help, ensuring you have the best experience possible. Book a session today, and we’ll develop a personal treatment plan to support your training.

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