The “World’s Most Beautiful Marathon” is around the corner, and while most of the hard work is behind you, you may be wondering how best to prepare leading up to race day. Here are our top tips for preparing for the Two Oceans Marathon.
Prior to an endurance event such as the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon, it is very important to reduce the training load in the last 2 weeks to ensure you arrive at the start line with legs that are not tired. During this tapering period, distance should be significantly reduced, but some faster workouts should be maintained (for example the weekly time trial).
In the week leading up to your race, try to accumulate some extra sleep.
– Establish a routine
– Limit caffeine intake to the morning
– Don’t exercise or eat too late in the evenings
– Limit alcohol intake
– Avoid work and excessive screen time in the evenings.
If you do pick up an injury while preparing for the Two Oceans Marathon, don’t try to run through it, as this will inevitably worsen the prognosis. Seek expert advice so that a diagnosis can be made, and a structured management plan put in place to ensure you hit the start line as injury-free as possible.
Remember your mind and body are so well connected that to achieve optimally – you need to have a positive mindset. Visualization is an excellent tool for developing mental toughness. Spend 10 minutes a day mentally rehearsing your race. Replay past races where you were mentally tough and how you were victorious and practise overcoming negative self-talk and tackling self-doubt when you are battling. Also learn to focus more on the direct task you face (the position of your body; the incline or decline) and then think of how well you have trained. There will be less room for negative thoughts to enter your mind and you can remain consistently mentally strong.
Since every runner is unique – giving general nutritional advice that will suit all -is impossible. It’s best to consult with a dietitian who is well versed in sports nutrition and who will consider your training programme, your lifestyle, what you like and dislike etc. They can also advise on pre-race, race-day and post-race recovery nutrition.
That said – there is plenty of evidence to support including protein as an aid to improve recovery after a hard training sessions- usually in a ratio of 1:4 (protein:carbohydrate).
You’ve done the hard work in preparing for the Two Oceans Marathon.
All that’s left is to go get your medal and thoroughly enjoy the experience!