As of Tuesday, the Colfax Marathon was 18 days away. That’s close. You’ve probably done one of your last long runs, are hungry all the time, and are preparing your body for a few hours of exercise on Denver’s most well-known street come May 20.
And if it’s your first marathon … you might be freaking out. So, we asked Melissa Wood, a Colfax marathon ambassador who has run 26.2 miles (or longer) more than 15 times and dozens of half marathons, how to make the most of the last couple of weeks before the race.
“Trust your training,” she said. “At this point, what’s going to happen has happened as far as training goes, and the best thing you can do in the next two weeks is roll with the punches, I guess.”
She says the same tips apply to the half-marathon and urban 10-miler as well.
The last two weeks before the race typically involving tapering, or giving your body a much-needed break from hard training before the last big effort. Wood says you might be stir-crazy, but instead of cramming in additional runs (which says will only result in injury), to enjoy the things you’ve been missing because you’ve been exercising so much.
“These two weeks are time to let your body rebuild,” Wood said. “It hasn’t had the chance to fully recuperate to 100 percent.”
Wood says to spend time with the friends you’ve been neglecting during those three, four hour Saturday long runs and to start intensely research what you’ll eat after the race (because priorities).
“I normally start thinking about where I want to go this far out, and during the race I think about what I want to order, because that’s what I look forward to,” Wood joked.
Another big tip? Don’t make any big changes before race day. That means now’s not the big time to try that crazy new flavor of gel (unless you want to become better acquainted with race day porta-potties), a brand new pair of shoes (unless you love blisters) and a cute new race outfit (unless chaffing is fun for you).
“You want to stick with what you’ve been using,” she said.
And that also applies to what you eat the night before the race: Don’t do anything crazy. Carb-loading works, Wood says, but don’t do it last minute.
Wood’s final piece of advice applied to race day itself: above all else, enjoy the thing you’ve been working toward for so long.
“It’s better to dial it back and live to run another day than to push super, super hard and only have bad memories about it,” Wood said. “The flip side: if you’re feeling really good, go for it.”
There’s still time to register for the Colfax marathon, half marathon, 10-miler and relay. You can do that and learn more about the race here: http://www.runcolfax.org/