New York here we come…

With just over 2 weeks to go until I head to NY for this years marathon (my first NY marathon) I’m at that stage where I’ve just about finished all of the hard work. My longest runs are behind me and now I’m concentrating on all the small things before the event to give myself the best chance on the 7th November.

Yesterday I completed a ‘race pace’ workout where I completed 20km at my goal race pace so I can be comfortable at this pace. I tried to resist the temptation to clock watch constantly but at each km marker I made sure I was aware of what I was running and tried to keep it in my range. It’s really good if you can find the pace your body is comfortable running at and not waste to much energy varying your pace to the nearest second.

It is amazing all the small things you need to take into account before an event to give yourself the best preparation. I’m familiarising with all the mile splits as there will the majority of markers in miles (& my maths isn’t good 2hrs into a run).

Then there is the nutrition plan. I’ve been trialing a few different products and for me the GU gels work very well. The best mix of taste & functionality to get me through my 42.2km. You definitely wouldn’t go into a race like this without having practiced all the elements of the race, and nutrition is vital. How many, how often, plus your extra emergency GU if you’re slower than your plan. Then you need to look at the hydration stations. This week the race handbook arrived so I’m starting to get a picture in my mind of how its all going to work. The course map is a great help to work out what I want to drink when. In a long race you definitely want to drink before you’re thirsty or dehydrated, but don’t guzzle too much down so you get a stitch. This is where practice and understanding what works for YOU is vital. A race plan when you’re calmly sitting at home reading through the handbook is much safer than deciding on the run in a pack of 30,000. Its easy to let others put you off. Go in with your on plan and don’t be thrown off if other runners are doing it differently. Also remember to practice your plan. How much can you drink on the run without getting a stitch or feeling bloated. Do you stop to walk and take it in or sip it down on the fly? Water or sports drink… it helps to have practiced, or at the very least know what you want to do on race day.

Another big consideration for me is what I’m wearing. And no, I’m not that vain, but you do need to give it some consideration. Of course you wouldn’t wear anything new or that you haven’t tried before. You don’t know exactly where you might chafe or how it feels when wet or sweaty if you haven’t road tested it. Plus training for the NY marathon, from Sydney, you have to think about the temperature and expected conditions on the other side of the world. Singlet or t-shirt, do you wear gloves or a hat. The better prepared you are from the start the smoother the race will be. So for the record the shorts, singlet, arm warmers (that I can roll down if not needed) and gloves just in case it’s a bit too cold, should hopefully keep me comfortable in the expected 14°. By now I know where to apply the lube and my pre race brekky is perfected. Its not exactly to AIS guidelines (or SDA Sports Dietitians Aus.) but it works for me & that’s the mot important thing.

So with just over 2 weeks to go I’m about to start my gradual taper and make sure I do all the small things to give me the best chance of a great run. I’ll blog again soon to talk about the importance of the injury prevention steps I’ve been using, tapering, race warm ups, my plan to beat jet lag and a few more 1%’ers to help my be at my best.

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