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Race Weekend Countdown - Ogden Marathon

Race Weekend Countdown - Ogden Marathon

The Ogden Marathon and Half offer one of the most scenic courses you’ll find anywhere.

Here is a preview of activities to help you know what is coming up so that you can enjoy every mile on race day.

The Afternoon before:
Don’t run the day before the race.  You won’t lose any conditioning if you take two days off from running leading up to the race. At the race expo companies in the running industry have displays, shoes, clothing, books, etc.--often at sale prices.  Beware of sale shoes, however.  It is best to go to a good running store and go through the procedure noted in my books to select a shoe that is designed for the type of foot you have.

Race number:
This is sometimes called a “bib number”.  It should be pinned on the front of the garment you’ll be wearing when you cross the finish line.

Computer chip:
More and more races are using technology that electronically picks up your race number and time as you cross the finish.  Follow the directions in your race instructions about wearing this important component.

The carbo-loading dinner:
Whether you eat dinner at the race’s pasta dinner or your private meal, don’t over-eat!  Many runners assume, mistakenly, that they must "load up"night before, which is actually counterproductive.  It takes at least 24 hours for most of the food you eat to be processed and useable in a race—usually longer.  If  your blood sugar level is low, be sure to eat just enough to keep it adequately balanced.  The downside is that too much "loading" the night before can lead to "unloading" during the long run the next day.  While you don’t want to starve yourself the afternoon and evening before, the best strategy is to eat small meals, and taper down the amount as you get closer to bed time. 

The day before, drink about 6 x 8oz of water and one glass of a good electrolyte beverage.  When you wake up race morning, drink a 6 oz glass of water or a cup of coffee as soon as you can after rising.  The more you drink after this, the more likely you will have to take toilet stops during the race itself.   Many races have porto-johns around the course, but some do not.  It is a very common practice for runners that have consumed too much fluid that morning to find a tree or bush along the course. (Rule of Thumb for drinking during the race: 2-4 oz of water every 2 miles.Tip:  Don't drink more than 20 oz an hour.)

The night before:
Eating is optional after 6pm.  If you are hungry, have a light snack that you have tested before and has not caused problems.  Less is better, but don’t go to bed hungry.

Alcohol is not generally recommended because the effects of this central nervous system depressant carry over to the next morning.  Some runners have no trouble having one glass of wine or beer, while others are better off with none.  If you decide to have a drink, I suggest that you make it one portion. 

Pack your bag and lay out your clothes so that you don’t have to think very much on race morning.

• Your watch
• Your run/walk/run timer, set up for the strategy you are using
• Shoes
• Socks
• Shorts
• Top—see clothing thermometer
• Pin race # on the front of the garment in which you will be finishing
• A few extra safety pins
• Water, Accelerade, pre-race and post race beverages (such as Endurox R4), and a cooler if you wish
• Food for the drive in, and the drive home
• Bandages, Vaseline, any other first aid items you may need
• Cash for registration if you are doing race day registration (check for exact amount, including late fee)
• $25-40 for gas, food, parking, etc.  
• Race chip attached according to the race instructions
• A few jokes or stories to provide laughs or entertainment before the start
• A copy of the “race day checklist”, which is just below this section

You may sleep well, or you may not.  Don’t worry about it if you don’t sleep at all.  Many runners I work with every year don’t sleep at all the night before and have the best race of their lives.  Of course, don’t try to go sleepless….but if it happens, it's usually the worry and not the sleep deprivation that can lower performance.
Get your bearings—walk around the site to find where you want to line up (at the back of the pack, or in a pace group), and how you will get to the start.  Choose a side of the road that has more shoulder or sidewalk for ease in taking walk breaks.

Warm up: Most will use the first mile or two as the warmup. Time goal runners may want to run easy for 10-15 minutes before warming up.

Here is the warm-up routine for time goal runners:
• Walk for 2 minutes, slowly
• Walk at a normal walking pace for 2 minutes, with a relaxed and short stride
• Set your timer for the ratio of running and walking that you are using in the race and do this for 10 minutes.
• Walk around for 5-10 minutes
• If you are shooting for a time goal, do a few acceleration gliders:  4-8 of them
• If you have time, walk around the staging area, read your jokes, laugh, relax
• Get in position and pick one side of the road or the other where you want to take walk breaks.
• When the road is closed, and runners are called to line up, go to the curb and stay at the side of the road, near or at the back of the crowd (for first-timers)

After the start: Remember that you can control how you feel during and afterward by conservative pacing and walk breaks—from the beginning.

• Stick with your run/walk ratio that has worked for you—take every walk break, especially the first one
• If it is warm, slow down and walk more (30 sec/mi slower for every 5F increase in temperature above 60F (20 sec/km for every 2C increase above 14C)
• Don’t let yourself be pulled out too fast on the running portions
• As people pass you who don’t take walk breaks, tell yourself that you will catch them later—you will
• Talk with folks along the way, enjoy the course, smile often
• On warm days, pour water over your head at the water stops

At the finish:
• In the upright position
• With a smile on your face
• Wanting to do it again

After the finish:
• Keep walking for at least half a mile
• Drink about 4-8 oz of fluid
• Within 30 min of the finish, have a snack that is 80% carbohydrate/20% protein (Endurox R4 is best)
• If you can soak your legs in cool water, during the first two hours after the race, do so for 10-20 min
• Walk for 20-30 minutes later in the day

The next day:
• Walk for 30-60 minutes, very easy.  This can be done at one time, or in installments
• Keep drinking about 4-6 oz an hour of water or sports drink like Accelerade
• Wait at least a week before you either schedule your next race or vow to never run another one again.

About the Author

Jeff Galloway

Olympian and CEO of Galloway Productions
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