Celtic Pure Irish Spring Water Ambassador Shane Finn advises on top health and hydration tips in the build up to SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon
So, the big day is less than a week away at this stage. I always find that the last 4-6 weeks before an event just fly by! Here are a final few tips you can implement over the coming days and week to ensure you have a stress free & enjoyable day.
1) Prepare, prepare, prepare!
The big work is done, now it is time to turn your attention to the small details and the fine print. Follow my checklist below;
– Collect your Race Number nice & early
– Pin your number to your top the night beforehand – not on the way to the start line
– Organize your pre-race nutrition the day beforehand. This includes meals for the day before the race & of course your race morning meal
– Stay hydrated on a day to day basis in the build-up days to the marathon, this is very important. Celtic Pure Irish Spring Water have a choice of 500ml bottles or 330ml bottles for you to choose from.
– Have your running gear ready and remember no new clothes or gear on race day. Wear what you wore for your long runs and what you are most comfortable in
2) Fuel for the engine
In the days leading into the race make sure you fuel your body with good quality food & nutrition. Real, nutrient dense food is what your body wants leading into an event like a marathon.
You don’t have to go crazy carb loading – going overboard on carbs in the days leading into the marathon can leave you feeling sluggish and bloated. We don’t want that – we want to feel as best we can digestively & from an energy level point of view too.
Hydration is vital too of course – in previous posts I mentioned that it is important to take note of where the Celtic Pure Irish Spring Water stations are on the marathon route so you’re aware on the day. A handy tip is to break the race up into mini sections – towards the back end of the marathon you can tell yourself to run to the next aid station – it will seem closer than the finish and make finishing a little less daunting!
In the days leading into the event make sure to keep well hydrated, sip consistently throughout the days. Adding in some electrolytes is also a good idea as we lose a lot of electrolytes through sweat so it’s good to have the stores well topped up.
Get plenty sleep in on race week. Try to avoid late nights if you can & of course depending on your circumstances make your sleep quality a priority.
Sometimes it is difficult to sleep the night before a big race & that’s perfectly normal, don’t get too worried about it.
The sleep you get on Thursday & Friday night is more important. Adrenalin, excitement & the amazing crowd will get you over any lost sleep and push you towards that finish line
4) Post Race Rehydration
Don’t forget to keep hydrating yourself throughout the day and especially once you cross the finish line. Maintaining a balance in your electrolytes and overall hydration can speed up the recovery process. It is good practice to keep sipping water throughout the day particularly after a long run, so be sure to drink your free bottle of Celtic Pure Water provided in your runners’ pack.
Above all else, make sure you enjoy the day!
Soak it all in & smile as much as you can 😊
Celtic Pure Irish Spring Water Ambassador Shane Finn, advises on top health and hydration tips in the build up to SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon
So, time is ticking by slowly but surely folks, not long now until the big day. Perhaps your long runs are completed already, or you might have one more to go! Either way, the key now is to get to the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon injury free, fresh & in good shape.
Quite often it’s the last 21 days or so coming into an event where people can pick up little niggles etc – so no need to panic train or start doing anything crazy!
It’s a good idea to have a look at your nutrition & hydration during your long run sessions at this point too. I mentioned in a previous post that there are 10 Celtic Pure Irish Spring Water Stations on the course. So, 10 opportunities for you to get some hydration in. If you could mimic this during long runs that is even better again!
With race day fast approaching it is important to look after your recovery too. Remaining hydrated on a day to day basis in the build-up to an event is so important! I find a good & fairly common practice is to leave a water bottle in the car, one beside your bed, one in the fridge & one on your desk at work too. Celtic Pure Irish Spring Water have a choice of 500ml bottles or 330ml bottles for you to choose from!
Significant dehydration post workout can slow the muscle protein synthesis that rebuilds our damaged muscles post workout. So, we want to keep on top of that over the next 3 weeks also!
When we run, we sweat! Sweating is the primary for keeping your core temperature in a positive range, but it also robs your body of fluids & essential electrolytes! So again, just to highlight the importance of post-training hydration.
Research published in the “Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research” revealed that trainees who hydrated right after working out showed drastically faster heart rate recovery when compared to subjects who did not hydrate at all following a workout.
Don’t Sweat It
Water is a powerful tool in muscle recovery. Put it to your advantage over the next few weeks as you prepare for the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon. A lot of the hard work is now done so don’t worry about the big day, and don’t forget that Celtic Pure Irish Spring Water will be there to help you with all your hydration needs along the way!
THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO RUNNING YOUR FIRST MARATHON
Brought to you by Celtic Pure Irish Spring Water
We are currently just over 4 weeks out from the SSE Airtricity Dublin City Marathon, at this point you should be feeling almost ready for Race Day!
The Last Hurdle
The final 4 weeks before a marathon is very important. You will be getting your last few long runs in and these will give you a good indication of where you are fitness wise. As previously mentioned, it’s a good idea to practice your pacing and nutrition strategies during these long runs. Don’t leave it until 3 days before the race to make a “plan”, use your long runs as simulations and test things out!
There are other things to consider in this period too. There is no better time to get your general nutrition, hydration, recovery & sleep to a place that will allow your training to peak. These really are the cogs in the wheel to performing to the best of your ability on Race Day!
Hydration is often overlooked, especially as the weather gets a little cooler and the mornings a little colder. Implementing it into your training & recovery strategies is vital. Maintaining a balance in your electrolytes and overall hydration can help maintain performance and speed up the recovery process. For example, if you train early in the morning it is good practice to keep sipping water throughout the day. A common practice is to leave a bottle in your car, in the fridge and one at work too!
For your longer training runs, I like to do loops, passing my car or house every now and again and having access to my water. Scientific research shows us that dehydration in events such as marathons causes a drop-in performance. A two percent drop in body weight will have a negative effect on your marathon performance
So, add hydration into your training and daily life in the build-up to the SSE Airtricity Dublin City Marathon. From a training perspective, focus on ticking off your long runs & making them specific. Then focus on recovering correctly from them long runs. Then there is no need to start to panic training up to the event! Allowing your body enough time to recover from the longer & more intense runs is very important. This, coupled with listening to your body will give you the best opportunity of making it to the start line on October the 28th fit & healthy!
So, you are working on your training and getting those sessions ticked off. Hopefully at this stage you are starting to see some improvements in fitness and an increase in endurance too. Check out these helpful tips below to help with nailing down & controlling your race day pace!
The Long Run
The long run you complete each week as part of your training is a vital part of setting a good and realistic pace on race day. There are many theories out there on the best ways to run a long run and how to pace a long run but the best thing to do is to keep it simple. Things like heat, hydration & the course profile will all have parts to play on the big day.
If your goal is to run the marathon in under four hours, your long training runs need to reflect that. Therefore, doing every long run at a 4-hour 10-minute pace and expecting a miracle on race day is a recipe for disaster! The wheels will come off later in the day but there are things we can do to avoid this. Practice makes perfect, so if we look at a 20-mile-long run. Good practice here is to run easy for 8 miles with only vaguely looking at pace and running to feel and then for the remaining 12 miles of the long run, start dialing in that goal race pace.
Again, keep it simple – this will allow you to run to the 20-mile mark in training at the pace you are planning to run on race day. In long training runs people will often do the opposite – start too hard and be unable to finish correctly. In essence you are negatively splitting your long training runs – which means you run the second half faster than you ran the first half.
Hydration & Water Stops
I highly recommend you practice your hydration strategy in training and not to leave it until 6 miles into the marathon to start thinking about it.
On the day of the race there will be 10 Celtic Pure Irish Spring Water stops out on the course. That’s 10 opportunities to get some fluids in and personally, I would stick to water on race day perhaps some electrolytes the day before and the morning of but, the same general rule of thumb applies to hydration as it does to nutrition – nothing new on race day!
Looking at the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon route you have Celtic Pure Irish Spring Water Stops at miles 3, 5, 7, 9.5, 11, 13, 16, 19, 21 & mile 24 – so there are plenty of places to keep topped up! With that in mind I would also mirror this in your long training runs. The aim is to make the long run as specific as possible. In training you can make note of these locations & consume water at the same points during the long run.
For me I find it helpful to do loops, or drop water off at certain points before a long run, but do whatever works best for you. Consuming & sipping on water at those markers in a long run will remove any guess work on race day too in Dublin.
Heat & Course Profile
The average temperature in October for the marathon will be somewhere between 12-14 degrees Celsius, maybe plus or minus one or two but it shouldn’t deviate too much from that. However, it is Ireland so expect anything! Regardless of the race day temperature – keeping tabs on your hydration is key. Hydration for running is something to look at all the time, not just the 2/3 days before the marathon! It’s easy to under consume water if the day is a little cool or even cold.
So, sip throughout the days before hand and on the morning of & be careful not to over consume either.
Things like temperature and the course profile can have an influence on your heart rate too and the overall rate of perceived effort.
Keep the consistency in your training over the next few weeks & make that longer run specific to what things will be like on race day, and as always keep enjoying the process!
Celtic Pure Irish Spring Water Ambassador Shane Finn
Taking on your first marathon can be a daunting task, however, it doesn’t have to be and by taking on board some of the tips below we can turn it into a hugely positive and memorable experience.
Set realistic expectations
Leading up to your marathon debut, it can be completely normal to begin second-guessing yourself or perhaps doubting yourself, but you don’t need to. Depending on your actual goal, whether it is to get to that finish line, perhaps hit a time goal or maybe a fundraising goal allow yourself plenty time to prepare and train for the marathon in October. By following the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon Training Plan, maintaining a structured nutrition and hydration plan and allowing your body plenty of time to both recover and adapt you will get to that start line in good shape.
Give Respect & Pay Your Dues
Any endurance event requires respect. No matter the distance and whether that’s training or racing. The best way to show this respect is by paying your dues and training appropriately. In this case, we are looking at the Dublin Marathon in October or perhaps it’s on your mind next year.
To give yourself the best chance of having a good and enjoyable day you need to train hard, but train smart with regular hydration. Pushing yourself in training and allow yourself to recover, repeat the process many times over and you will begin to see some progress. Not every run or training session will feel good or easy but that’s the reality of running. You will experience some good days and some bad days training, however, they all take you one step closer, make you that little bit better and I am a fan of embracing the “tough” days! I recommend you adopt the skill of “listening” to your body. This one skill can help you live a long healthy running life.
Practice Your Running Strategy
Practicing things like pacing will be vital in succeeding come marathon day in October. Your longer training runs are perfect for this. Training is also a great time to see what footwear works best, what gear fits well and is most comfortable what food suits and maybe doesn’t suit!
Longer training runs are also perfect for practicing your hydration strategy. A handy tip is to take in water or electrolytes at the same times during training and during a race, so you know in advance which Celtic Pure water station you need to stop at leaving no guesswork for race day.
If you are embarking on this journey for the first time or maybe coming back after a little time off, as I stated earlier, the most important part is that you enjoy it. Enjoy the process of training, enjoy the process of meeting new and likeminded people, enjoy feeling better and getting healthier and enjoy pushing yourself.
Running is a gift! Embrace it!
Brough to you by Celtic Pure Irish Spring Water, the new water partner with the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon Series. Words from endurance athlete Shane Finn. For more information visit www.celticpure.ie