In honor of Greg "Pepsi" Koch's first marathon next weekend, I thought I would take a minute to share a few things I've learned as I've gone through the marathon cycle five different times. These are things that seem small, but can make the difference between a great experience and one you are eager to forget.
<---I wish I could say this was a picture taken during a marathon, and that I felt so good I could smile going into the finish.....but it's not.
In fact, more times than not, this ------>
is how you feel when you are finishing a marathon. I'm sure anyone who has ran one before can relate.
1) Hydrate - The weather in Sioux Falls this week looks mild (50's) and overcast, while the race weather for next Sunday in Lincoln is currently 59 and rainy. Don't let that fool you! You still need to hydrate, and not just the day before but the entire week! I am fully expecting you all to see Greg carrying around a 605 Running Co. water bottle around all week.
2) Carb Load - Someone posted a funny article from The Onion in the 605 Community Facebook this month that had to do with "carb-overloading". The idea that you should go out the night before a race and eat a huge meal of pasta is one you might be paying for come race day. In reality, focus on carbs the entire week, not just Saturday night.
3) Rest - While this may speak to the point in your running schedule, it also goes for the time when you are NOT running. It's important this week to think about what you are doing when you are not running. This is not the best week to walk a round of 18 holes or spend all day on your feet. My recommendation to Greg will be to have a stool to sit on during the week. Don't worry, you won't offend customers. Those who have been there before understand.
4) Sleep - This is closely related to #3 above, but the idea is that you should make sure you are getting adequate sleep this week. Your immune system might be a little susceptible right now, so make sure you are giving your body a fighting chance (I'm sure there's some "science-y" reason for it, but I can go months without getting sick and as soon as I lessen the intensity of running, I catch some type of bug).
5) Relax - It can be easy to overthink a marathon. Just remember, you've done all the work to get you to this point. "The hay is in the barn", so to speak, so there is no training you can do this week that will make you better prepared. Just enjoy everything about the race, and make sure not to get overly excited about the first half of the race (because there's still a whole second half to go).
Looking forward to Sunday, May 1st, and I'm sure Greg is as well!