Thousands of athletes will come together, after months of arduous training for the 33rd Dublin City Marathon on October 29th, which will spread over the Georgian streets of the city.
We often tend to focus solely on the physical demands of a marathon but this is just as equally mentally testing. Both the long period of training and the race day itself, create nervousness, anxiety, tension and exhaustion. Most first-time runners have their moments of pre-race doubt, contemplating whether they are up to the task or not- if you have put in the hard work over the past few months, then you will be in a good position to tackle the race.
Here are number of tips for the race (before and during) which will help you to run to the best of your ability.
Visualise The Marathon
Try to picture the whole day in advance, arriving early, performing a proper, relaxed warm up and keeping calm. Visualise yourself steadying any nerves you may have, and picture running your perfect race and crossing the finish line in your desired time.
Make Post Race Plans
Plan to do something you enjoy after the race, whether is be reading a book, going for a meal, seeing friends etc. This will give you something to look forward to after the race and might help to pick up your spirits in the tougher stages of the race.
Approach the Race in Stages
Setting out goals prior to the race is a great method to help you through the race. So for example you could approach the race like this:
Start out Slow - You may be tempted to dash off the starting line but remind yourself to hold back. Take it slow. Your body will thank you in the final miles. Pacing yourself is vital, so be very aware of the pace that you are running at and make sure it is not too fast.
Run Your Own Race -
Pay no attention to the other runners, even if they are passing you out, stick to your plan. The likelihood is that other people are starting to quickly and you will end up passing them out in the latter stages of the race.
Segment the Race - If you break the race into segments e.g 5 mile milestones, it becomes less daunting and each completed stage will feel like a victory in itself. Small positive mental thoughts like this can go a long way to getting you over the finish line.
Stay Tough - During these miles mental tiredness will start to creep in and you will be tested. Don’t give in to any self-doubt and discomfort. Trust in your training and your hard work. Keep telling yourself to push on and stick to your plan.
Fight Boredom - Some people can get bored during marathons and this does not help your race. Bring an ipod or mp3 player to listen to music, sing songs, talk to other runner! Do something which relieves boredom!
Miles 21- Finish
Set Smaller Segments - Continue to Segment the race, mile by mile. Count down the miles and minutes.
Talk to Yourself - At this point of the race, you will need to dig down deep. Keep reminding yourself how hard you have you worked to get to this point, remember the sacrifices you have made, you have battled with fatigue in your endurance runs before and that you can do it again.
Enjoy the Race
It is important to try and enjoy your experience of the marathon. Finishing a marathon is a great achievement and is something to be very proud of and although your legs may feel like a bowl of jelly after the race, your self-esteem will be boosted greatly. Be grateful that you are healthy enough to compete, enjoy the energy of all the other participants and the atmosphere of the crowd cheering you on, remembering all of this at mile 22 will give you the energy to push on.
After the Race……
Your body will feel the effects of the race for a few days and your body will feel tight and tired. Soak in a hot bath with salts after the race, re-hydrate and make sure to eat a big meal to reward yourself on your great achievement If you do need some assistance in terms of post race injury or stiffness contact us here at Spectrum Health where we can provide you Chartered Physiotherapy and we have some great offers for Dublin City Marathon Participants.
The Spectrum Health team would like to wish everyone the best of luck in the race and indeed their preparations in the coming days!