Counting down toward race day. – Comrades marathon
Counting down toward race day. – Comrades marathonAs one trains towards a running race or any major event, you will likely have created a program you follow to make sure your body is at its best on the big day. Comrades is an important event on most runner’s calendars.
You have worked toward that first 21km then finally cracked that 42km and then pushed your legs to complete the big Ultra all in an attempt to make sure the 90 odd km that is the comrades marathon is a day filled with elation. There are a few must do’s in the last few weeks in the count down toward 10 June. Make sure your mind is ready, your body is at its best (that it can be) and that you have made a plan for the big day.
Body – your body has been on a journey to make it ready for this day. You may have a really tight relationship with your Physio, Bio or Chiro – or all three in an effort to make sure you are physically the best you can be. Making sure that the niggles don’t turn into problems is so important. The repetitive nature of running means that small repeated problems can become big problems if left unchecked so make sure you have a good chiro/physio team to support you. What does a good one look like though? In my opinion, your manual therapist should be just that – manual - machine based work does not gain the results an athlete so needs to keep fascial lines optimal, muscles and scar tissue mobile and joints aligned. While machines have their place in acute therapy and the appropriate use of them is invaluable for your early phase rehab – be aware that it may compliment your therapy, but shouldn’t be the basis of it all.
By the last month of your training you are likely to have reduced the big mileage and started to taper in an endeavor to allow your body to heal and strengthen – yes, strengthen in rest and recovery. Now is the time to make use of your physio to break down fascial restriction and muscular tension and your chiro to make certain your alignment is optimal. We are so often asked who to pick – but they work so well together so if time and budget allows – use a team rather than an individual to get you to the start line ready to go and injury free.
Mind – sports Psychology is an invaluable part of sports. We as a society have only really discovered this in the last few years, but more and more we see the value in an holistic approach toward our preparation. Strategies to help you through the tough times when your “physical” has let you down. Or to just combat that little voice in your head that says you “cant”. Who would have thought it would have taken one man to beat the 4 minute mile for the rest of the world to realise what was possible? Roger Bannister’s record only lasted 46 days before it was broken – that’s the power of the mind for you. So plan your mantra, have your support systems on the road, and choose to enjoy the race.
Have a plan – before you get on the road make use of all your resources. Have a goal in terms of the time you’d like to do and then structure your walks, food, hydration, running speed accordingly. Coach Parry has a great structure to follow and can be found at http://www.comrades.com/marathoncentre/training. Just have a plan and be sure those legs rest as well as work.