Wednesday, November 27, 2013

SCSM 2013: Pain-less Is The Priority Before A Marathon

With Ironman Melvin Aw at Gold Coast Marathon 2013. He will be headed to Busselton for next week's Ironman Western Australia.
You cannot race when you are in pain. When you experience pain, your body is giving you feedback - never ignore it.

You are a few days out from the Big Run, be it the full marathon or the half-marathon, so stay focused. It is tempting to squeeze in a bit more training, but what your priority is, is to stay injury-free, recovered and motivated. Fatigue is a sign to back off. Soreness is a signal to rest up. Persistent pain is a cue to STOP!

Injury will sabotage your racing efforts. Review what performance is all about.

Performance = Results + Efforts.

Of the two, effort can be managed and controlled. Results are an outcome, or measure of performance. If your effort is derailed by injury, acute pain or any other physical distraction, then you are likely to fall short of your expectations and goals.

I am experiencing some tightness of my legs, especially of my calves and ITB (ilio-tibial band), so I am monitoring it. I have done my long runs, and my tempo runs, so will allow my body to heal well, and not defray itself from stress. Mental stress may trigger off muscle cramps, 'knots' in the muscles, and undue discomfort. Get a sports massage, perform self-massage (with a roller, trigger-ball, or hands), consume your electrolytes every evening (such as CrampFix). Hydrate. Drink, regularly, small amounts of water throughout your waking hours. Increase your carbohydrate intake, albeit gradually. 

A pain-free body before the race, led to my second BQ/PB (and my successful bid for a Boston Marathon 2014 slot). Nonetheless, it was still hard-earned for I had DOMS for a few days.
Carbohydrate-loading is NOT bingeing or over-eating. If you are doing it, you should have completed your depletion days (higher protein and fat, low carbs), and are now in the super-compensation (falsely known as 'loading') phase. You training will now be reduced mileage (tapering) with some sprinting integrated into your session. You can choose to completely rest on Saturday (day before race), or do a mild session. I usually cycle for 20 minutes and do a 10-minute jog in the morning, to activate my muscles. I would rest on Friday, having my best sleep that night.

Four days to go - use these days well. Enjoy the taper. Sleep more. Eat 'clean'. Raise your legs. You have done the work. Time to enjoy your performance.

No comments: