How to go about and what to do in the week before the run up to the Marathon/Half Marathon?

I love this week as this is the most relaxing week where you do not have to work hard running around. You have to bid good bye to your LSDs (Long Slow Distance). You have put in a lot of disciplined efforts and now it’s time to make sure you capitalize on all those efforts. Here are a few suggestions to spend your crucial one week before the Marathon:

Recover well from your last LSD, in which, I assume, most FM (Full Marathon) runners would run anything between 21 – 25 km and HM (Half Marathon) runners would run about 11 km. It’s a good idea to do your last long run on the race route, if possible with the running gear that you would wear on the day of the marathon since you would be on your feet for the longest time prior to the race. Make sure that you make this your best run as a part of your training plan. Ensure you follow proper recovery methods such as rolling, stretching and even icing, if required and rehydration and refueling to recover fast and get back to normalcy. Here’s a day-wise plan which you can follow:

– Monday – Focus on rolling, stretching and walking

– Tuesday – Use a foam roller to roll, warm-up well and do an easy run for 25-30 minutes, followed by cool down stretches

– Wednesday – 30 minutes of cross training followed by stretches

– Thursday – Run for 30 minutes, a strong run imagining yourself running to the finish line

– Friday – Walk, roll and stretch

– Saturday – 20-30 minute walk or 3-4 km slow jog; foam rolling; stretching

Some other tips you must keep in mind are:

Focus on getting good quality sleep. Make sure that your diet is a combination of an optimal mix of carbohydrates and protein. Start your week with higher proportion of proteins. Carbo-loading can happen from Thursday, along with electrolyte/energy drink in small dosage. Increase it proportionately as you approach the D-Day to ensure you have enough reserves of not only glycogen but also electrolytes.

Ensure that you take no stress at all, whether its work related or personal. Staying calm and composed is an important aspect of your mental well-being that will help you reach the D-Day positively, with your confidence sky high.

Stretch daily, particularly on your non-running days. While doing so, ensure you are paying equal attention to your calves, hamstrings, glutes, quads, IT Band and back – let’s call them core group of muscles. Include planks 2-3 times a week and cycling is also great if you can manage that.

Have a healthy diet that includes brown rice, soups, eggs, broccoli, spinach, cabbage, Tofu, Paneer, sweet potatoes, oats, beet root, egg plant, and legumes. This ensures that your body gets the right amount of nutrients that you would need for being race-ready.

Seasonal fruits such as bananas, grapes, guava, apple, and orange are a runner’s best friends.

Dark chocolates, nuts like walnuts, almonds, and dates, which you always like to munch, could be part of your food basket.

One day before the race:

20-30 minute walk or 3-4 km slow jog; foam rolling; stretching

Be light and easy on your feet one day before the race, stay hydrated and have coconut water, orange juice, ORS, and energy drink don’t forget to have a banana.

Stretch all your core group of muscles.

Eat healthy carbs, have small meals every 3 hours and end it with an early dinner.

Have 400-500 ml ORS before you sleep so you can flush it out early in the