A local physiotherapist whose clients have included professional, and elite Olympic and International sportspersons from the fields of rugby, football and athletics has shared her advice for the best possible marathon preparation.
Lisa Mann, Head Physiotherapist at Jersey Sports and Spinal Clinic, has a keen interest in sports injuries and their rehabilitation.
Ahead of the Jersey Marathon, she has shared some advice for the participants and all runners.
When entering the final week of a marathon program, one of the most effective strategies is to stick to your routine. Everything from bed times, to nutrition, clothing, and daily walks will help get you in the best possible position before Sunday.
Don’t experiment with new foods — even if other athletes are eating them — in the week before the race. Stick with what your body is used to so you don’t get any stomach surprises. Feel free to work on your mobility but be careful not to do too much running this week. Stick to the plan!
Routine is very important as it relates to sleep patterns, digestion, biorhythms and your overall performance. Change as little as you can from your normal routine and you will increase the likelihood that you will have a great race day. The one exception is sleep....
Sleep is one of the pillars of health. For Running, it is as important as the training itself. We need it for brain processing, healing and repair. Today focus your energy instead on resting like a champ. Reinvest it in your sleep. Tonight, try to get at least 8+ hours of good quality sleep.
If it is possible for your work, can you WFH? Can you avoid face to face meetings? Hand washing and hand sanitising are always a good policy, especially in that last week. Illness would really scupper your race day.
Pin your race numbers on your vest, lay out your socks, gels etc. Try to get your name on you t-shirt if possible, Honestly people WILL cheer you on and this is really motivating!
Organise your bag and bag drop, jacket and items for post race. Plan your journey and arrival time so that your arrival time is right for you.
We always recommend to every marathoner that they should take a quick look at their training log the evening before the race. Remind yourself of all the work you have done and that you are as ready as you can be—then go execute.
Be confident in your preparation and step to the start line knowing you have sacrificed and prepared properly.
It’s very normal to be nervous as a race nears, but you must always quell any nervous energy and focus on relaxing. Some runners let the anxiety of the race burn up all their mental energy so that by the time they stand on the starting line, their mental reserves are already depleted.
As nervous thoughts creep in, acknowledge them and then push them aside and focus on something else. If you run your best, it will hurt. Expect this, but also know that the first few miles will probably float by. This is natural.
Be prepared for it to feel almost too easy at the beginning and be ready to race when the race really starts (probably around 20-23 miles). Talk positively to yourself “ you CAN do this”- this has been scientifically proven to work in endurance running.
Make an oath to yourself that you will do your best on the day. That in the first miles, you’ll control your pace and run relaxed.
That in the middle, you’ll focus on maintaining your goal pace and continuing to get in all your fuel regularly.
And, in the last part, where it gets really, really tough, you’ll smile through the pain. You’ll focus on your best.
You’ll never relent. You’ll never give in. You’ll keep pushing and get to that finish line.
Enjoy it, it really is an amazing achievement to run a Marathon!
Good luck from the team at the JSSC!
This article first featured on Bailiwick Wellbeing, your free weekly guide to wellness in work and island life. Sign up now here.