Monday: The Final Countdown (Think song by Europe)

With less than a week to go until the RunSF, San Francisco Marathon, I thought it would be a good time to give a glimpse into what a runner goes through the final week in order to be prepared for a marathon.

People often think that there are a multitude of things to do in getting ready to run a marathon and that the week before must be a hectic scramble, but it is actually almost the opposite. We have been preparing for this race and getting everything sorted for months. With a week left, the one thing I worry about the most, is whether or not the alarm will go off on time. Seriously. I, like many other runners will set the regular alarm along with the alarm on a cell phone in case there is a power outage in the middle of the night. Another good tip is to have a fellow runner call to make sure you are up and ready in case an alien from outer space has sneaked into your bedroom to destroy your marathon dreams (It could happen).

Hydration. This week is an important opportunity to make sure you are well hydrated for the race. Drink lots of water throughout the week and throw in a Gatorade or two Friday and Saturday.

Food. Not a good idea to have a feast this week. Your body is a temple, treat it like one. Stay on the normal eating pattern that has gotten you this far and stay away from eating junk food that won’t benefit you for the race or in the long run (Insert joke about the marathon being the race and the long run). The day before be sure to include plenty of carbs in your food, which are stored in muscles as glycogen — more to come on that subject in the future, and a good amount of protein. You’ll need both to be successful.

Run. That’s right, you have been running like a crazy person for the last few months, why stop now? But here is the key factor: don’t overdue it. Each runner has what they would call an ‘easy run’... do those. Whether it is 1 mile or a 5 mile run it might not be a bad idea to get at one in this week. Mine is a 3 mile run with Mika. It is a nice easy run that is familiar to the both of us. We get to the corner and Mika knows, this is where to turn. She also knows that when my watch beeps (at a 6:1 interval) it is time to walk or run. Funny, huh? My last running day will be Wednesday so that I have Thurs-Sat to get my legs rested so that they feel refreshed Sunday Morning.

Rest. Personally, I wont run more than twice this week and may only get in a single run to keep the blood flowing. Stay off your feet and don’t lift or do anything strenuous. That last thing you want to do is injure yourself moving a couch with less than a week to go.

Those are the general ones for now. Each night this week I’ll be blogging about “The Final Countdown.” As the race gets closer I’ll get more specific on daily activities, so if you’d like a closer glimpse into what it is that we go through - come on back.

Next Post: Tuesday: Loading the iPod

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