It’s Race Week – Part 1 (Runs during race week)

“It’s Race Week” is a series of posts intended to serve as a guide for what to do during the week leading up to your next big race.

It’s race week for the big half or full marathon you’ve been training months for.  The week of the big race has finally arrived.  How we plan it?  Do we run less?  Do we run harder?  What do we do the day and morning before?  For first-timers, it’s entering the unknown; for veterans, it’s experimenting what we can do better.  It can be as much about what not to do as what to do.  Let’s take a little look at race week prep.

Part 1 – Running During Race Week

Remember this: no training will make us faster during race week. If we’re tapering properly, we should be balls of energy: ready to go on race day! It may feel like we can get another quality run or two in, but we’re supposed to feel this way. We’re tapering! If in doubt, don’t run. Unless you’re an experienced, fast runner, our race week prep should consist of only easy runs. If we can’t hold a lengthy conversation while running, we’re running too fast.

How many runs should we have? That totally depends on the runner. Some people train everyday, others train four days per week. Many people rest the three days before their marathons. That may be too extreme, but taking off days before the marathon actually increases fitness because it gives us more rest. Rest = fitness, as paradoxically as that sounds. It’s something to practice if in doubt. If this is your first marathon, run 3-4 miles (depending on how you feel) Monday through Thursday, then take Friday and Saturday off before your Sunday race. Remember, our race week prep also includes not doing too much! Run a few miles to keep your body in motion and avoid feeling “flat” during the race, but it’s not time to try to gain fitness!