With the Marathon only 3 days away, I thought it might be interesting to share how I have been preparing this week. Of course my real preparation began 16 weeks ago when I started my training plan, but what you do or don’t do the week before a marathon is very important to the outcome. For my first marathon in 2008, I didn’t really pay attention to my eating habits the week before and probably didn’t hydrate properly. I still had a respectable time of 4:22 but since I have my eye on an sub 4 hour finish time, I trying to do everything right! To start off, my breakfasts this week have been quite complex but nothing out of the ordinary for me.
A classic green monster to help me hydrate and ensure that I am getting a serving of fruits and vegetables first thing in the morning.
Alongside the shake, I have been eating one TJ’s Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin British Muffin with a laughing cow wedge (Swiss Flavor) and a healthy scoop of my Mom’s Homemade Apple Butter.
This meal, while similar to what I have eaten in the past, is larger than what I have been eating recently. However, it is still a reasonable sized breakfast that contains plenty of healthy carbs both from the bread and the fruit, some protein and a little bit of fat.
According to “Nancy Clark’s Food Guide for Marathoners’”, one needs to be careful that they are not fat loading during the week because fatty foods will simply fill the stomach and the fat cells but leave the muscles less fueled.
With this in mind, my lunches for the week have looked similar to this one.
Whole Wheat When Pigs Fly Bread, Tuna made with Hummus and BBQ sauce instead of mayo, spinach, Blue Terra Potato chips, pickle and ketchup for dipping.
The tuna with hummus and BBQ was inspired by Anna from Blue Plate Special. I read about this awhile ago and have made it a few times with excellent success. This meal provided plenty of carbs (bread, potato) but also gave me some low fat protein which is what I was craving.
I washed it all down with a large glass of iced Good Earth Tea. One of the best ideas I have had in awhile. I love this tea hot but iced it’s even better! In between meals I have been keeping busy with my normal routine of yoga, homework, errands and two short runs. Here’s the stats from my last ever training run for this marathon. The cool thing about this was that I didn’t feel like I was running that fast but when I saw my average pace I realized that I was cruising! I guess all the training and the few speed work runs I did have paid off!
On my errands around town, I have been trying to remain comfortable and opted for these the other day when I saw the sun shining.
Even though it may look a little summery outside, it is in fact the middle of October and I quickly realized that my Ugg boots would have made a better choice!
One of my errands this week took me about 30 miles out of the city to pick up my race packet. I didn’t do this the last time I ran a marathon, but since I had the time I figured it would be helpful to not have to worry about getting my number the morning of. On the way there I ate one of these:
And hydrated with some of this:
Getting all your gear ready for the big day is essential. Buying a new outfit to wear is not necessary but it helps get you excited! Lululemon was running a promotion where they offered 20% off of running gear for Baystate runners. So, I decided to pick up a few things which include a new running skirt! I understand it’s a bit risky to run in something brand new but I am planning to walk/run a tiny bit today just to feel it out an I have a feeling that it’s going to be fine.
Dinners this week have been heavier on the carbs than on anything else but again nothing too drastic. I basically went to Trader Joe’s at the beginning of the week and looked around for all my favorite carby options that I usually don’t indulge in. My go-to snack this week has been Trader Joe’s Spicy Black Bean Dip, Trader Joe’s Smooth and Creamy Hummus and Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Pretzels.
One of my dinners that I put together on the fly at work was a bag of Asparagus Risotto and two Apple Walnut Chicken Sausages.
I had intended to only eat half which is the portion above, but I was still so hungry so I ended up getting out the Tupperware with the rest and polishing it off!
Dessert is the piece that has looked the most different this week. I have been trying to limit the sugar intake and instead eat an apple for dessert. Yea, it’s not the most exciting but it will work for the short term.
There has also been plenty of down-time this week where I have been stretching, icing, foam rolling, tiger-tailing you name it. The weather has been beautiful as well so the other day I took advantage of the sunshine and took my studying outdoors. I made myself a cup of Starbucks Via Coffee to help me focus.
This was probably my favorite afternoon of the week! You would never know that I am looking out onto a very busy road. At least I had my headphones and Pandora to drown out the traffic.
So now I am down to the last day and a half before the Marathon. At this point I am going to continue to rest, stretch, hydrate and fuel.
The book says that due to your increased carb consumption and decreased exercise output “You may have gained about two or three pounds which reflects water weight. For every ounce of carbohydrate stored in your body (i.e. glycogen) you store about three ounces of water. You can tell if your muscles are well saturated with carbohydrates if the scale has gone up two or three pounds.”
I am happy to report the scale is reflecting this gain for me and I am feeling confident my muscles are well prepped, the training has been done, my mind is ready, all that’s left to do is RUN!
*Update: I have decided to wear my tried and true Nike Running shorts for this race. I have put too much into this to have my race attire make a difference in my time so I am going with what I know. I do love the skirt though and plan to wear it after the marathon in prep for my 1/2 Mary in NOLA!