Whether you're training for your first marathon or your fiftieth, all of those miles are hard on your body. To ensure you arrive at the finish line in peak condition, most experts recommend tapering off your training in the 2 - 3 weeks before the big race. In addition to scaling back on miles, here are three more things you can do during the week before you marathon to ease muscle tension and ensure success.
Get a Massage
Visit a massage clinic such as La Mesa Chiropractic Center and get a professional sports massage. This will work out any aches and tightness that may be lingering as a result of your months of hard training. Make sure you do this at least 5 days before the race. Don't wait until the night before, as you might be slightly sore after your massage. If you're running the race with friends, consider getting massages together in order to do a little bonding before the race.
Keep Up With Your Stretching
Since you've scaled way back on your mileage and may not even be running some days the week before the race, it can be tempting to scale back on your stretching, too. Resist the temptation, and aim to do just as much, if not more, stretching this week as you did on your heaviest running weeks. A good 5 minute routine before every run, along with 10 minutes after each run, is sufficient for most runners. If you're feeling tight, do an extra stretching routine later in the day. The last thing you want is to arrive at the starting line feeling stiff.
Go To Bed Early
You're going to have extra time in your schedule in the week before the race, since you're not trying to fit in those long runs and intense interval workouts. Many runners use this time to catch up with the friends and family members that have missed seeing while running so many miles over the last few months. Make sure these catch-up sessions end early, so you can head to bed. The night before the race, you might be too nervous to sleep well, so getting plenty of rest now is essential for healing up from your training and ensuring you're refreshed on race day.
Training for a marathon is a monumental task. By the time race week arrives, you've put in a lot of hard work and hundreds of miles. Make sure they pay off by treating yourself well and following the tips above.