Category Archives: Marathon Training

Thursday Training Tip : Carbo loading for endurance races

Carbohydrate loading for marathons and ultras

This weekend is my first Ultra so for this week’s Thursday Training Tip I’ve decided to re-look at carbo loading as a way to maximise race performance. Carbo-loading is an important part of race preparation, and in the days leading up to your race should receive the same level of focus as your physical and mental preparation. Optimising your energy levels before the start of the race, coupled with good in-race fuelling, will increase the time before you reach ‘energy-deficit’ – that point when the fabled ‘wall’ starts looming.

Firstly, if you’re about to start your carbo-load and you’re still running, STOP RUNNING! Everyone should be following a taper plan before an endurance race, but some then freak out in the last few days and think if they don’t run they’ll lose their edge. This is simply not true. The repair and fuelling of your muscles you will be able to achieve in the last few days will help to deliver you to the starting line in the best possible condition to race. Your race performance was already set 3-4 weeks before the race, running lots right up to the event will hinder, not help.

Ready to load? Here are my 8 tips to help you get the most out of your carbo-loading:

1) Don’t jump the start:

If you are tapering properly, keeping your same healthy training diet during the two weeks before your race will yield a natural carbo-load as your energy expenditure drops. As the intensity of your sessions drops, those extra calories will manifest themselves as glycogen in your body. However, it is important that you eat carbs for energy, not fat. Carbs will convert to glycogen, fat doesn’t…]

2) Keep your carbo load close to the race:

It’s the last 72-48 hours before the race that you need to start ‘loading’. Doing it beforehand or over several days won’t top your glycogen levels up even more, and can in fact leave you sluggish as your body struggles to deal with the massive carb intake (or worse, decides you’re now living the high-life and starts storing it as fat).

3) Eat what you know:

Don’t drastically change your diet for the carbo load – doing so can lead to stomach upsets. Start to move your diet towards your ‘load foods’ in the two weeks before the race by slowly cutting out the things you won’t be eating.  Try to stick to unprocessed foods if you can, the nutrients are unlikely to have been lost in the processing stage and will be better for you. Pasta, rice, wholemeal breads, oats, beans, lentils and beans are good sources for your extra carbs.

Pasta is a usual favourite for runners when carbo loading

Pasta is a usual favourite for runners when carbo loading

Image Credit

4) Water, water, water:

Drink lots of water! For every gram of carbohydrate stored as glycogen, your body needs to store 3 grams of water. If you weigh yourself regularly then expect your weight to jump up about 2kg if you’ve loaded properly. TMI warning – Make sure you’re producing a good volume of urine every 2-4 hours (that’s about 5-7 trips to the loo a day), and that it is pale yellow in colour. If it looks like pure water, it is, and you should reduce your water intake.

5) Three days to go – It’s ‘load’ time:

A 70kg runner needs about 350 – 490 grams of carbohydrates a day (5-7g per kg of bodyweight) making up about 60% of their total calorie intake when training. In the load period 72-48 hours out from the race, increase this intake to 8-10g per kg of bodyweight – our 70kg runner is now looking to intake 560-700g of carbohydrate per day and take 75-85% of calorie intake as carbs.

This is hard work as you will be eating more than usual, however it will be easier and better for you to add meals into your day instead of making your meals larger. 5 small meals is a lot more palatable than 3 massive meals and will also help keep your sugar levels from bouncing around too much. Your partner might thank you too, smoothing out your sugar levels will help minimise mood swings, one of the usual side effects of the ‘taper crazies’.

20140401-181854.jpg

Also, supplement your food-based carb intake with carbs from liquid as well. Sports drinks are best, try drinking 1-1.5 litres of your favourite sports drink to help ‘top up’ between meals, but you can use fruit juice and small amounts of caffeine-free fizzy drinks as well. But don’t stop drinking water. Just gauge your hydration levels from your urination amount and colour.

carbo-loading-sports-drinks

Sports drinks come in all sorts of types and flavours, just make sure they are isotonic so they contain the right balance of minerals and salts

 

Here’s an example of what to eat during your ‘loading’ phase (courtesy of the Australian Institute of Sport)

Breakfast 3 cups of low-fibre breakfast cereal with 1 1/2 cups of reduced fat milk
1 medium banana
250ml orange juice
Snack toasted muffin with honey
500ml sports drink
Lunch 2 sandwiches (4 slices of bread) with filling as desired
200g tub of low-fat fruit yoghurt
375ml can of soft drink
Snack banana smoothie made with low-fat milk, banana and honey
cereal bar
Dinner 1 cup of pasta sauce with 2 cups of cooked pasta
3 slices of garlic bread
2 glasses of cordial
Late Snack toasted muffin and jam
500ml sports drink

6) 24 hours to go:

On the day before the race make sure 85-95% of your energy intake is carbs. Try to eat dinner early, ideally you want to be finished eating 12 hours before the race start so you have time to digest and get the carbs to your muscles (and your food through your digestive tract). Drink a sports drink before bed, and maybe add a small snack like a sports bar, but definitely not anything heavy.

 7) It’s Race Day:

Start eating 3-4 hours before the race starts, trying to get about 150 calories of carbohydrate in if you’re marathoning. If you’re doing an Ultra then the energy expenditure is gong to be massive and a proper breakfast 4-5 hours before the face of 300 or more calories is a good idea. Just keep it light – don’t overeat! You’ve already loaded your body with glycogen, the breakfast is just to replace the calories lost from your sleep. As you make your way to the race, make sure to be drinking sports drink to ensure optimum hydration and ‘brim your tank’ with energy. Tip: if you’ve got an early race start, get up, eat, then go back to bed. But be sure to set your alarm again! Twice…

8) During the race:

OK, this isn’t technically carb ‘loading’, however the energy deficit I discussed before means that you need to keep up your energy intake during the race to reduce the energy deficit and the impact of the wall if you hit it. Gels, sports drink, candy, flat coke and bananas are good sources. If you’re ultra running then items with more substance like Clif Bars are a good idea. Over the time period of an ultra you will get hungry. Properly hungry! Something like a Clif Bar will give you a mix of fast and slow release energy and a bit of volume in your stomach. Again, don’t gorge. If you’re reasonably fit (you should be, you’re running a marathon/ultra!), your body can handle a maximum of about 380 calories per hour when running. Any more than that and you run the risk of a GI upset and a frantic search for a porta-potty. If you eat 1.5 gels (one every 45 minutes) and drink half a bottle of sports drink you’ll be around 300 calories per hour. Add half a banana and you’re near to the limit. Ultra runners often eat every 30 minutes, but a little less each time, to even out their intake. Avoid getting to an aid station, taking a walk break and squeezing a gel, eating a banana, half a Clif Bar and then some gatorade to wash it down! At best you’ll give yourself a stitch but at worse, well, better hope there is a porta-potty nearby…

 

I hope with these tips you can master the carbo-load and give yourself the best chance of having the energy you need for your race. Speaking of which – my spaghetti carbonara is ready…

Happy running everyone!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running!

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Thursday Training Tip : How to carbo load for a marathon

It’s marathon week for me so as I’ve turned a more focussed eye on my pre-race nutrition I thought I would share what I’ve learnt over the last few marathons.

Now, one of the very common questions I see around the interweb about carbo loading is:

Can a carbo-load prevent hitting the wall?

In all honesty, probably not. But it will prolong the time before you hit the wall and can even lessen its effect if you hit the wall. The reason is that for almost all marathoners the energy deficit between stored energy and that required to complete the race is so great that a carbo load can’t hope to make up the difference. Your body primarily uses glycogen (what carbohydrate converts to) for energy. When you deplete your glycogen stores, the body relies on metabolising fat (a much slower source of energy) and your pace drops dramatically. Couple this with dehydration and an elevated core temperature from the exertion and *boom*, it can feel like someone built a 10ft high masonry fence across the course.

However, optimising your energy levels before the start of the race, coupled with good in-race fuelling, will certainly increase the time before you reach ‘energy-deficit’ – that point when the wall starts looming in the distance – and can help minimise its impact if you do hit it.

 

0007 – Licensed to eat

James Bond took his carbo-load too far...

James Bond took his carbo-load too far…

Image Credit

Despite what a lot of people think, and most of us hope, carbo-loading for endurance events like half and full marathons isn’t a licence to gorge on pasta, fizzy drinks and sugary cereal. Carbo-loading is an important part of race preparation, and should receive the same level of focus as your physical and mental preparation.

Firstly, if you’re about to start your carbo-load and you’re still running, STOP RUNNING! Most people follow a taper plan before a marathon, but some then freak out in the last few days and think if they don’t run they’ll lose their edge. This is simply not true. The repair and fuelling of your muscles you will be able to achieve in the last few days will help to deliver you to the starting line in the best possible condition to race. Your likely marathon performance was already set 3-4 weeks before the race, running lots right up to the event will hinder, not help.

Ready to load? Here are my 8 tips to help you get the most out of your carbo-loading:

Save the ‘loading’ for later:

If you are tapering properly, keeping your same healthy training diet during the two weeks before the marathon will yield a natural carbo-load as your energy expenditure drops. As the intensity of your sessions drops, those extra calories will manifest themselves as glycogen in your body. However, it is important that you eat carbs for energy, not fat. Carbs will convert to glycogen, fat doesn’t.

 

Keep your ‘load’ close to the race:

It’s the last 72-48 hours before the race that you need to start ‘loading’. Doing it beforehand or over several days won’t top your glycogen levels up even more, and can in fact leave you sluggish as your body struggles to deal with the massive carb intake (or worse, decides you’re now living the life of plenty and starts storing it as fat).

 

Eat what you know:

Don’t drastically change your diet for the load – doing so can lead to stomach upsets. Start to move your diet towards your ‘load foods’ in the two weeks before the race by slowly cutting out the things you won’t be eating. Like pizza, in my case at least…
Try to stick to unprocessed foods if you can, the nutrients are unlikely to have been lost in the processing stage and will be better for you. Pasta, rice, wholemeal breads, oats, beans, lentils and beans are good sources for your extra carbs.

Pasta is a usual favourite for runners when carbo loading

Pasta is a usual favourite for runners when carbo loading

Image Credit

Water, water, water:

Drink lots of water! For every gram of carbohydrate stored as glycogen, your body needs to store 3 grams of water. If you weigh yourself regularly then expect your weight to jump up about 2kg if you’ve loaded properly. TMI warning – Make sure you’re producing a good volume of urine every 2-4 hours (that’s about 5-7 trips to the loo a day), and that it is pale yellow in colour. If it looks like pure water, it is, and you should reduce your water intake.

3 days to go – It’s ‘load’ time:

A 70kg runner needs about 350 – 490 grams of carbohydrates a day (5-7g per kg of bodyweight) making up about 60% of their total calorie intake when training. In the load period 72-48 hours out from the race, increase this intake to 8-10g per kg of bodyweight – our 70kg runner is now looking to intake 560-700g of carbohydrate per day and take 75-85% of calorie intake as carbs.

This is hard work as you will be eating more than usual, however it will be easier and better for you to add meals into your day instead of making your meals larger. 5 small meals is a lot more palatable than 3 massive meals and will also help keep your sugar levels from bouncing around too much. Your partner might thank you too, smoothing out your sugar levels will help minimise mood swings, one of the usual side effects of the ‘taper crazies’.

Also, supplement your food-based carb intake with carbs from liquid as well. Sports drinks are best, try drinking 1-1.5 litres of your favourite sports drink to help ‘top up’ between meals, but you can use fruit juice and small amounts of caffeine-free fizzy drinks as well. But don’t stop drinking water. Just gauge your hydration levels from your urination amount and colour.

carbo-loading-sports-drinks

Sports drinks come in all sorts of types and flavours, just make sure they are isotonic so they contain the right balance of minerals and salts

 

Here’s an example of what to eat during your ‘loading’ phase (courtesy of the Australian Institute of Sport)

Breakfast 3 cups of low-fibre breakfast cereal with 1 1/2 cups of reduced fat milk
1 medium banana
250ml orange juice
Snack toasted muffin with honey
500ml sports drink
Lunch 2 sandwiches (4 slices of bread) with filling as desired
200g tub of low-fat fruit yoghurt
375ml can of soft drink
Snack banana smoothie made with low-fat milk, banana and honey
cereal bar
Dinner 1 cup of pasta sauce with 2 cups of cooked pasta
3 slices of garlic bread
2 glasses of cordial
Late Snack toasted muffin and jam
500ml sports drink

Tomorrow is Race Day:

On the day before the race make sure 85-95% of your energy intake is carbs. Try to eat dinner early, ideally you want to be finished eating 12 hours before the race start so you have time to digest and get the carbs to your muscles (and your food through your digestive tract). Drink a sports drink before bed, and maybe add a small snack like a sports bar, but definitely not anything heavy.

Race Day:

Start eating 3-4 hours before the race starts, trying to get about 150 calories of carbohydrate in. Don’t overeat! You’ve already loaded your body with glycogen, the breakfast is just to replace the calories lost from your sleep. As you make your way to the race, make sure to be drinking sports drink to ensure optimum hydration and ‘brim your tank’ with energy. Tip: if you’ve got an early race start, get up, eat, then go back to bed. But be sure to set your alarm again! Twice…

During the race:

OK, this isn’t technically carb ‘loading’, however the energy deficit I discussed before means that you need to keep up your energy intake during the race to reduce the energy deficit and the impact of the wall if you hit it.

Gels, sports drink, candy, flat coke and bananas are good sources. Again, don’t gorge. If you’re reasonably fit (you should be, you’re running a marathon!), your body can handle a maximum of about 380 calories per hour when running. Any more than that and you run the risk of a GI upset and a frantic search for a porta-potty. If you eat 1.5 gels (one every 45 minutes) and drink half a bottle of sports drink you’ll be around 300 calories per hour. Add half a banana and you’re near to the limit. Again, try to even out your intake. Don’t get to an aid station and squeeze a gel, eat a banana and then gulp a sports drink all at the same time. At best you’ll give yourself a stitch but at worse, well, better hope there is a porta-potty nearby…

 

I hope with these tips you can master the carbo-load and give yourself the best chance of avoiding or minimising the effects of the wall. Now, where did I leave the pasta sauce? It’s time to start my carbo-load!

Happy running everyone!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running!

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Marathon de Paris : Race week

It’s race week so there isn’t much running going on, instead it’s more about recovery and preparation for the race.

That said, the main reason there isn’t much running going on is because I missed my run today due to a ‘scheduling error’. I thought I could go for a run tonight, however Lovely Girlfriend reminded me this morning that we were going out, and that the date was, contrary to my initial belief, in my calendar. Completely my fault, however missing a single easy pace 5k run today isn’t really going to affect my marathon. If anything, the stretch and foam rolling session I did this morning will have helped keep my muscles looser and more supple. I’ll just run tomorrow morning instead.

I’m off the booze as well, from the Sunday before last. I don’t really drink a huge amount anyway, but I must admit to really wanting a beer on Saturday when I was at the pub with some mates. But, coke with a slice of lemon it was. I am, however, already able to taste that celebratory Kronenbourg waiting for me at the finish line…

Nutrition wise I’m off the pizza as well. Shock horror I know! Other ‘takeaway’ type meals are off the menu also. So it’s healthy(ish) food from now on, with small snacks between meals to keep my energy up and keep my sugar levels from bottoming out. As I didn’t run today I ate a little less, but I’m trying to keep the same energy intake as my training weeks to give my body that little bit of extra energy to aid recovery. The carbo load proper will start on Thursday night, about 60 hours before race start. Watch this space.

Admin prep is also in full swing. All my tech gear has been washed. I mean ALL of it. I have a shirt and shorts that I don’t race in to use for the rest of the week, but everything else needed to cover all temperature eventualities is clean and ready to be packed.
20140401-181705.jpg I’ve also printed tickets for the Eurostar, the hotel booking, race convocation and medical certificate and have already packed them with passport and residency card. And checked them. A re-checked them. Like 20 times…

So now it’s the calm before the storm. That itchy time you get when you’ve finished your training but not yet had to put it to use. The energy levels peak, your muscles start to ‘need’ to run and well, as any partner of a marathoner can confirm, the taper crazies start to take hold…

20140401-181854.jpg

Happy running everyone!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running!

On Facebook? ‘Like’ my Facebook page and keep up with my day-to-day happenings, hints, tips and shares
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Marathon de Paris : Two weeks to go

Or; ‘The unorthodox training continues…’

In a recent post I talked about my ‘unorthodox’ training build-up for Marathon de Paris, but that I had managed to find a strong finish to the last week of training before the taper.

Or so I thought. Turns out my cold which stopped me running for the early part of last week decided to rear it’s (very ugly) head on Saturday and Sunday, so I missed my last long 30km run in my schedule.

Yeah, I admit I have a bit of trepidation about missing that run, but I’m sticking to the key rule that is relevant to all runners of all experience – always stick to the plan.

Read the rest of this entry

Paris Marathon Training : and some new recovery snacks

It’s three weeks until Paris and yesterday I completed my longest run of this build up, a 27km TLT (Threshold-Long-Threashold) session. The session went like this:
– Dynamic warmup: squats, walking lunges, leg swings, sideways leg swings, hip-openers, glute-activators followed by 1km slow run.
Threshold : Three repeats of 3.2km run to HR at Zone 4.5-5.0 pace, followed by 3 minute walk break.
Long : 13km ‘LSD’ run to HR at Zone 3.8-4.2 pace, followed by 3 minute walk break.
Threshold : 3.2km run to HR at Zone 4.5-5.0 pace.
– Cool-down : 0.5km slow jog, 800m walk.

Read the rest of this entry

Wait. What?

Running rehab again today. Overall, good progress. My strength and glute/core activation is improving as is my form. However, seems my mental capacity isn’t, because I asked my trainer a stupid question…
“Can I do Parkrun AND my 10kRunning Group tomorrow morning?”
This was the look my trainer gave me:

20140118-094425.jpg
Can’t blame him really. I knew it was a stupid question before I asked it, but it did serve to open the dialogue about Marathon de Paris, and it turns out that Paris is go!

After my rehab session I had a chat with Mike, the performance director (ie the Big Boss Man) at The Running School. From his training of both professional athletes and Average Joe runners like me, Mike understands that some people want to compete so long as they are able to, not just when they are 100%. Sure, I could spend six months doing a really good build-up, focussed training, workout schedules and all that sort of stuff and shoot for a PB in an Autumn marathon. However, for me, running is fun, and the time I achieve is less important to me than the doing. I may never beat my marathon PB ever again, but so long as I’m always running to the best of my ability that is what it’s about for me.

So, Mike understands that, and he’s building me a schedule which will get me to Paris in 11 weeks, able to compete. The focus will be on smart running to build strength and endurance without a repeat of my self-inflicted overuse injury. I’m looking forward to it!

Oh, and just in case you were wondering. Running Group was the answer. Parkrun is going to have to wait for at least another few weeks…

Happy running everyone!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running!

On Facebook? ‘Like’ my Facebook page and keep up with my day-to-day happenings, hints, tips and shares
Want to see what/where/how I’m training? View or ‘connect’ with me on my Garmin profile to see what’s been going on
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Thursday Training Tip #9 : Carbo-loading for endurance

As I, and a few of my readers, are running a marathon this weekend I thought I would make this week’s Thursday Training Tip about carbo-loading. Despite what a lot of people think, and most of us hope, carbo-loading for endurance events like half and full marathons isn’t a licence to gorge on pasta, fizzy drinks and sugary cereal. Carbo-loading is an important part of race preparation, and should receive the same level of focus as your physical and mental preparation.

carbo-load-pasta

Now, before the food bit, a bit about your training. If you’re about to start your carbo-load and you’re still running, STOP RUNNING! Most people follow a taper plan before a marathon, but then bottle it in the last few days and think if they don’t run they’ll lose their edge. This is simply not true. The repair and fuelling of your muscles you will be able to achieve in the last few days will help to deliver you to the starting line in the best possible condition to race. Your marathon performance was already set about 3 weeks before the race, running lots up to the event will hinder, not help.

Here are 8 tips to help you get the most out of your carbo-loading:-

Read the rest of this entry

Marathon training : mental focus for runners

In my last post I talked about my mental focus being a bit off, so I thought I would have a bit of a re-read of the book Grateful Running. In the book Dr. Grayson Kimball discusses this very common problem in runners, along with some tips on how to improve for race day. Here are some of the tips I’m going to employ to help me sharpen my focus for race day:

Losing Focus vs Changing Focus:

Losing focus while running is a common problem, especially in long distance runners. It is simply very difficult to continue concentrating on the singular task of running for that period of time. However, Dr. Grayson Kimball says runners “never truly lose their focus, they simply change their focus”.

This is, for me at least, an important distinction to make. Losing something implies being unable to find it again. Changing focus implies it can be simply changed back. The latter is a much more positive way to look at the issue and doesn’t imply a negative outcome if my focus happens to change. My issue is in controlling my focus and applying it to my running.

focus

Change your focus!

Changing the Channel:

Like a TV, a runners focus can be changed, sometimes by external events around you (think of this as someone walking into the room and clicking the TV remote, away from what you were watching) or by internal processes (think of this as channel surfing, you’re seeing a lot but not actually watching anything).

During the hours of a marathon your focus will change countless times. The important thing is to realise when it changes and to switch back to your ‘running channel’. Kimball suggests that you make sure that whatever you switch back to is a positive help to your running. Tuning back into a stream of negative thoughts or your ‘pain channel’ isn’t going to help. When I find that my ‘channel’ has changed, I immediately ‘change back’ by going through a little mantra that I picked up from my coach at The Running School while I was rehabilitating from a bad case of ITB. It was originally to help me focus on my running form, but I adapted it into a mantra for long runs: “U. A.B.C.”.

U actually has two meanings. The first is ‘You‘. It is my trigger to ‘check-in’. Where am I, how am I, what’s my pace? This re-engages me with my run and changes my focus back to my ‘running channel’. Once I’m ‘back’ I go through the mantra:

U is for Upright

check my posture, make sure I’m not slouching, leaning back or twisting my torso too much. Upright with a slight lean looking straight ahead about 30m in front of me is good.

A is for Arms

Check my arms, make sure they are engaged, have a good drive rearwards and are controlling my cadence. Arms that are strong (but not tense), engaged wrists and relaxed hands is good.

B is for Breathing

Check my breathing is controlled, rhythmic and deep into the chest. Even and without panting is good. Except for the last mile – then ‘balls to the wall’ all out effort and panting like a dying horse is OK!

C is for Cycling

Check my gait, make sure I’m cycling my legs through, my knee lift is good, I’m engaging my glutes and hamstrings and I’m not scrubbing my feet as fatigue sets in. A smooth efficient action that doesn’t rely on my calf muscles for propulsion is good.

This little chant is a good way to bring my focus back to my running, and is a good example of associative thinking to manage and improve performance.

changing-the-channel

This chap is highly focussed on changing the channel. He’s probably a runner…

Associative vs Dissociative Thinking

Associative thinking:

Refers to reviewing your current situation and keeps you focussed in the current moment. You are purposely associating thoughts with responses and actual data from your senses. You can’t be daydreaming if you are intentionally reviewing factors like breathing rate, muscle fatigue (Internal associative thinking) or race strategy, mile markers, refuelling points (External associative thinking).

Generally speaking, I am able to complete associative thinking while running (my “U. A.B.C.” chant is an example of this). The issue I found on my runs last week was unstructured dissociative thinking. Daydreaming. I can’t remember what any of it was about, I just remember the feeling of ‘checking in’, seeing my pace way off and that hundreds of metres had passed me by. It is this I need to address.

Dissociative thinking:

refers to focussing on things that are irrelevant to your current task of running. If left to just happen, you’ll end up daydreaming and your race will suffer. Interestingly, Kimball notes that dissociative thinking, if used in a structured way, can be advantageous as a ‘purposeful distraction’. The idea being that if you can distract your mind from discomfort or boredom, it has the ability to enhance your run, especially if you think about something that has a positive impact on your mood. For instance, by singing to yourself the words from your favourite inspirational song you are distracting yourself and lifting your spirits (Internal dissociative thinking), or for some serious distraction, you can try external dissociative thinking – count numbers of purple shoes, people with headbands, anything that keeps you focussed but also distracted. A word of warning, dissociative thinking can be bad. Do it too much and you will prevent associative thinking and you can miss the signals that allow you to manage your performance.

Dissociative thinking can be a useful distraction, but don't drift off to la-la land!

Dissociative thinking can be a useful distraction, but don’t drift off to la-la land!

Onwards to Palma de Mallora

Where I need to work is on structuring my dissociative thinking and doing it at appropriate times in the run. I don’t have a ready answer as to how successful I’m going to be, I just know that I am going to have to focus more on my associative thinking and only do dissociative thinking if it is structured. Hopefully recognising the problem and knowing some solutions will allow me to put them into practice on race day.

In other news:

In case you hadn’t noticed, I’ve just been able to dissociate myself from my entire journey on the underground to work, to my meetings, and then back home to write this post. I’ve also found that writing during this week and the last has given a good distraction from the ‘taper crazies’ as I’ve got something to fill my extra time and distract me from the race! Double bonus!

 

What tricks to you use to keep your focus during your long runs/races?

Do you have any favourite dissociative thinking tricks to distract you when the going gets tough and you need a mental break from a long run/race?

 

Happy running everyone!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running!

On Facebook? ‘Like’ my Facebook page and keep up with my day-to-day happenings, hints, tips and shares
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Marathon Training : Taper Week 2 – Pacing For The Race

Tick, tick, tick went the metronome in my head as I ran along at a steady 5’23”/km pace, feeling like I was in cruise mode. Not a very interesting run to be sure, however very important – especially for me – but more on that later.

I’ve just finished the second week of my taper, which I’ve dubbed ‘metronome week’, and the week was all about pacing – getting used to the pace, honing my pace, and mental pacing. Read the rest of this entry

Marathon Training : A strange case of lack of pre-race nerves

I’ve got a marathon in 11 days. I’m not feeling anxious, there’s no nerves. The days are counting down but there isn’t a noticeable building of anxiety, fretting or fear of what’s coming.

Maybe it will come next week? At the moment I feel a (strange to me) calm.

Maybe it’s just the eye of the storm? Maybe next week will be a hurricane of mixed emotions – nerves, elation, fear of failure, giddy anticipation of the starting line.

I’m hoping not. I mean, I don’t want to go into the marathon like an ice man, that would indicate hubris and unbridled arrogance (and that I’m a bit of a d*#% – no-one gets to be arrogant going into a marathon). But, at the same time being a bundle of nerves, self-doubting and anxious isn’t the way to run well either. Somewhere in the middle would be perfect. Read the rest of this entry

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