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FOUR WEEKS TO GO...STICK TO THE PLAN! A lot of you out there have just entered your final 4 weeks before the Great Ocean Road Marathon. Those who are, congratulations you are almost there! The best advice I can give you in these final stages are… don’t deviate from the plan. Whether this is your first marathon or your 21st, these final weeks are crucial to get you to your optimal fitness on race day.
FOUR WEEKS TO GO…STICK TO THE PLAN!
A lot of you out there have just entered your final 4 weeks before the Great Ocean Road Marathon. Those who are, congratulations you are almost there! The best you can receive in these final stages is… don’t deviate from the plan. Whether this is your first marathon or your 21st, these final weeks are crucial to get you to your optimal fitness on race day. In the next week you will be covering the most kilometres out of all your training weeks, so try not to get do anything stupid… like throw in an impromptu legs day at the gym having not lifted a weight in 12 months… or decide to play in a soccer tournament the day after your 35km run… your body will not thank you for it.
For the final 3 weeks of your plan enjoy the delights of tapering. Most people decide to reduce their total weekly mileage by between 20-30% each week and try not to complete any runs faster than your race pace. This will mean that a lot of you will find you have extra time on your hands due to reducing your time chewing up tarmac. At this point the little running devil on your shoulder will try to play tricks on you and convince you, “you haven’t done enough miles” or “you’re not fast enough, lets sprint up that hill”… ignore him! For peace of mind have a flick through your training diary or your logged runs on Strava and then sit back and relax. Make the most of this extra time and read that book you’ve always wanted to read, or catching up with your drinking buddies having neglected them for the last 12 weeks or more.
Tapering is essential for muscle and connective tissue repair following your arduous marathon training program. Muscle glycogen stores can now return to their peak levels, whilst important antioxidants or hormones return to their optimal levels to bring you back to peak condition for race day. So it’s important you capitalise on this period and eat healthily, rest and try to get optimal amount of sleep in order to facilitate this process.
SO WHAT CAN I DO IF I DEVELOP AN INJURY IN THE NEXT 4 WEEKS?
Pray to Yiannis Kouros himself and beg for forgiveness… No, it’s important that, if you have any injury concerns, you come and see one of our Physiotherapists and get a full assessment. Although you may think all hope is lost, there are many strings to the Physiotherapists bow that can help you make race day! Activation techniques for important core and pelvic stabilisers can be incredibly useful, if they’re not already in your training program then shame on you. Remedial massage therapy can be a real game changer addressing any areas of inflexibility or fascial tightness’s that may have been building up over the last 12 weeks (if you’ve made it this far without the use of a foam roller, your world is about to be turned upside down). And there are a multitude of taping techniques that we can introduce to help stabilise structures, inhibit overactive muscles or just simply bring a bit of pizazz to your running attire! Whatever your concerns, we are here to help.
Best of luck to everybody taking part in whichever distance you’re running along the Great Ocean Road on May 16th/17th and we’ll see you all there next year!
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