Marathon #2 is giving me more grief than #1. My goal at the first marathon was to finsih. Ideally I’d break 4 hours but the main focus was getting to the finish. Now I’ve set myself a pretty lofty goal and my mind keeps going back and forth between believing I can do it and convincing myself there is no way. I’m really trying to follow Ryan Hall’s advice and shut my brain off, but there are a few things nagging at me. Here are some of the main worries/concerns I have going into this race. I’m going to talk them out and then hopefully FORGET about them!
Race Concern # 1
I have been training in very COOL weather and this change in temperature is very unexpected and NOT welcome. I have NOT been training with salt, electrolytes or any of the such, just Gu and water, because I naively assumed that race day temps would be consistent with prior years – average of 67 degrees. A few weeks ago I even asked a coworker and former marathon training buddy who likes to get rid of workout gear if she had an extra jacket she was looking to get rid of so I could wear it at the beginning of the race and ditch it.
Which brings me to my second concern.
Race Concern #2 – What to Drink?
I haven’t been practicing with the course sports drink, Vitalyte, at all. I’ve never had a sip in my life. They served Cytomax, which was my sports drink of choice at the time, at my first marathon and I drank it whenever it was offered on the course in addition to my Gu and various random things like an orange slice and a Otter Pop. I did some research and also asked a trusted fellow athlete her opinion on consuming a new drink on race day and of course my answer was a resounding “NO!”. But do I need the electrolytes? Back to searching….and found that sports drinks really don’t even have enough electrolytes in them to outweigh potential loss of salt through sweat. My Gu apparently has some salt in it. So I guess my plan is to just stick with Gu and water, since that has been working on my long runs. I also tried electrolyte capsules a few times during my long runs so I think I will bring some of those and if it’s really hot I’ll take them.
Race Concern #3 – Did I Miss a Key Pre-Race Workout?
Asia went to swim last night and was told by the swim coach (who is a triathlon coach) that we missed a key workout this week. We should have incorporated some quick speed work in our runs this week to keep our legs fresh. We did add 1 mile at race pace to our 5 mile run on Tuesday morning but Thursday we just kept it nice and easy. I did more research and read some things about how doing some VERY short speed intervals the day before the race can increase the body’s ability to retain glycogen from carbohydrates if you eat them immediately after the run. I think my plan for tomorrow, the day before the race, is to do an easy 2 miler with about 3-4 very short pick-ups to keep my legs fresh and my lungs ready!
Ok that’s enough!!! I got those off my chest and from here on out I’m going to repeat to myself over and over that I did everything I can and that no amount of sunshine, wind, lack of workout or sports drink is going to keep me from doing my best!
At the end of the day, I know I’ll be proud of myself, no matter how it turns out! Ok, I’ll be pretty mad if I don’t break 4 hours….
Did you put more pressure on yourself for your 2nd marathon than your first? The first one was way easier since all I had to do was make it to the finish line! Have you ever freaked out about the same things as me and still did great at the race!?
I can totally identify with this! My first marathon was the Boston Marathon last April. Since I ran the marathon bandit and didn’t time myself, I really had no idea what my time was. I did, however, guestimate that it was around 4 hours. SO, when I ran my first registered marathon (but my second marathon overall) in October, I was really concerned about running a sub-4 race. I followed one of Hal Higdon’s marathon training guides to the T but did not incorporate ANY strength training or speed work. Literally none. To my surprise, I finished in 3:56. It seems like you are more than prepared for this race, so don’t worry about it! With the amount of training you’ve done, I bet you will surprise yourself. With regard to the heat on race day, I would just make sure you drink at every water stop, and switch off between water and electrolyte drinks. And don’t over-Gu – that could lead to some unfortunate bathroom issues 😮
I’m running my next marathon at the end of February and I can’t wait! Good luck this weekend! I can’t wait to hear about your experience!
GU and water will work just fine! Don’t stress about any missed workouts and don’t do anything you wouldn’t ordinarily do. Have a great race!!
You will do great!!! I’ve done the surf city half and really love the race. Not sure about the full but for at least the half race the course is so beautiful! My fave medal too. So this is just my opinion, but I dont feel like the sports drink on the course will make or break it. I haaaaate eating on the run and have historically had a large breakfast (800 cals) to stem off having to fuel on the course hopefully until mile 12 or so. Along the way I usually take sports drink whenever available at aid stations, and have water when I take the fuel I carry on me (4-6 gus). I’m heavy on fuel intake but that is how I train. I personally hate cytomax but have taken in in races along with gatorade, powerade, ultralyte, etc.
So in my personal opinion (take it for what its worth) if you fuel/hydrate the day before as planned and follow your fueling/hydration strategy race morning and on… you’ll be okay. I’m a believer in the majority effect.
Good luck on your race!!!!!! 🙂