I realize this is a little late, but it’s what I’ve done before every half marathon. Now I’m curious to see what everyone else does as well.
The Sunday before the race, I run between 11-13 miles depending on how well I think I can place in the race. The better I think I can do in the race, the shorter the Sunday before run is.
Then the beginning of the week, I sit around wondering if I have trained enough. Mid week, I get to thinking that I’m not sure if my training is adequate. So I go against the grain and go for a tempo run. I shoot for about 15 seconds per mile faster than goal race pace. Its supposed to be roughly 4 miles.
*Disclaimer* Doing it this way is how I started hurting before the half marathon last time where I had that little hip incident. I in no way endorse my methods, nor do I condone them. I still do it this way. I think it was more than a 4 mile tempo run that broke my hip. *End Disclaimer*
Now that the “legal disclaimer” is out of the way, today is the day for that tempo run. So I’m about to head out to the riverwalk trail, and pull 4 miles off at (hopefully) a 7:25 pace/mile. worst case scenario I’ll put in 4 @ 7:45 pace/mile. I’ve decided the worst I’m willing to let myself do on Saturday is a 1:45:00 finish time.
After today, I have to bank up on sleep. The night before a race, I always have a hard time sleeping, and I was reading somewhere that you can bank up on sleep. I have no idea if it’s true, but I believe in it. So starting tonight I will try to get an extra hour, two if possible of sleep.
On Friday, I’ll check weather reports, decide what to wear for the race, make sure the Garmin is charged, and pick up some GU gels if I don’t have any.
Friday afternoon I go to my favorite Italian restaurant in town, and get lasagna or baked ziti and a salad for lunch. (Carbohydrates, you know) For dinner, I’ll have something light. Sandwich, and a pack of crackers, that sort of thing.
Friday night when I get home from work, “Flat Frank” gets sat out on the couch. “Flat Frank”, by the way, is another term I picked up somewhere. It’s what I call whatever I’m wearing the next day. I lay it out to look like a person sitting there, that way I know if I have a complete person sitting there, then I have everything I need for race day.
Race morning–I usually wake up 2 or 3 hours before necessary, after staying up an hour or two too late. (Hince the banking sleep early in the week). For breakfast, I have a bowl of oatmeal and a couple pieces of toast with strawberry preserves. I dont know where my wife gets the preserves, but it’s home made and its wonderful. I only allow myself to eat it before a race. It’s that good. I’d eat it by the quart jar otherwise.
After breakfast, I usually head toward the race…I try to get there upwards of an hour early. I like to warm up, but I also like to shoot the bull with everyone when they first get there. It seems to help ease the nervousness for me. I’ll take a 5 or 10 minute warm-up jog, depending on how cold it is outside that morning.
I’ll normally put in headphones at that point, and get lost in music until the gun goes off.
That’s my week in planning leading to a big race–what’s yours?