Half Marathon Advice: What to do in the week before the race

Half Marathon: What to do before

So you’ve signed up for a half marathon and now its approaching fast! Whether you have competed lots or it’s your first half and taking on the challenge here are some of my best tips of what to do in the week before the race.

1 week before the Race:

Use today as a full dress rehearsal, get up and have the same breakfast you plan to have on the day and try to go for your run at the same time. as the race starts. Try to stay hydrated through the day and maintain through this week. Obviously you won’t run the same distance but run at the pace you want to sustain for the race.

6 days before:

Either take today off or do a light cross training session for example a swim or a cycle. You could try the main meal your planning to have the night/lunch before your race. Make sure you getting a good night sleep and keep hydrated.

5 days before:

Do you last main training session before the race and practice your routine including your diet, clothing. Try doing the run at your race pace. At this point you want to be comfortable and feel as prepared as you can for the big day. The idea is to reduce the stress and anxiety for the big day.

4 days before:

Go for a fartlek or short high intensity interval work out to keep your legs moving and to get your heart racing. Fartlek means speed play in Swedish its just a term for interval training or run/walk training you can see more on my previous blog post. You don’t want to the session to be too intense just comfortable.

3 days before:

If you have a rest day planned for the day before and are not traveling aim for a light session no longer than 30 minutes. Start monitoring your fluid intake and make sure your staying hydrated. Make sure you get a good night sleep. Start to increase your carb percentage to 65‐70%, but try to avoid beans and other food that may upset your stomach.

Get a good night sleep!!

3-5 days before

Get a sports massage preferably after an easy training session. Depending on how often you normally get a massage depends on how close you can leave it to the event. If you get them regularly you can have one closer to race day. You can find out more at the benefits of Sports Massage on my blog post.

Two days before:

If you have to travel to your race this would be the ideal day, go to pick your bib and other race day essentials including your food and drinks you may want on the day. It is important to make sure you know your re-fueling plan and that you have all your gels, sweets ect. ready. Start increasing the percentage of carbs in your diet to around 70%. Avoid beans, high fibre and other food that may cause bloating. If your not traveling for you’re a short walk or a light cross training session.

The day before:

Go for a very short run first thing to keep your legs moving no more than 20 mins! Pay attention to your diet with your main meals being breakfast and lunch to give your body enough to digest. Aim to eat easy to digest carbs like pasta with protein and not too much fibre or fat. Drink 2 glasses of water with dinner and then go for a short walk. Get everything laid out and packed for the morning so everything is ready. Set your alarm and try to get a good night sleep.

You can download this guide at:

The A State of Health Clinic’s Website.

For more articles on Half Marathon running check out:

race day and post half marathon guides.

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