The Melbourne Marathon Festival is coming up on the 14th of October, with I’m sure many of you are in the late stages of your preparation.
This weekend probably marks your final long run before you commence tapering, and you’re probably fine tuning your footwear, fuel and hydration strategies.
It’s such a fantastic event and one of the truly great weekends in Melbourne.
Winding your way through some of the great streets and monuments of Melbourne with thousands of supportive and similarly motivated runners, you’ll have a great sense of appreciation for our city and its people.
While some will be out racing for sheep stations, many of you will just be happy to complete your designated distance.
For those that are in for the long haul, here are my suggestions.
Go in with a pre-race plan
If you have never done one before, chat to friends and family about their racing strategy. Go out hard and hold on, or pace yourself and steadily shuffle to the finish line. There is no right or wrong but choose one you’re comfortable and confident in. Be sure to check the weather forecast for wind direction and course map for inclination/declination to try and figure out the easier sections (no such thing as an easy section in a marathon). www.bom.gov.au is a reliable source.
Update your Playlist
4 hours and beyond is a long time to be running, and even longer to be listening to the same So Fresh, Summer Hits of 2009. Sign up to a Spotify or Apple Music trial and fill your playlist with a bit of everything. Nothing too slow and delirious. Keep it fast. boppy. and energetic. Spotify has some great playlists that are collated to beats per minute, keeping your breathing and your cadence in check. Type Running into Spotify and choose your speed.
Or maybe download a podcast
Podcasts are a great way to pass the time. When I last ran the Marathon in 2016, Hamish and Andy had me in fits of laughter for the first 26km. Unfortunately, the sound of their voice for the month or two after gave me post-traumatic flash backs of hitting the wall. You could keep the mind ticking with Freakonomics Radio, follow a crime mystery with Serial or Dirty John, or tap into the inner motivation of the amazingly successful guests on The Tim Ferris Show.
Thank the support staff and wave to the fans
It is such a well-run event, and one that couldn’t be done without the numerous dedicated and hard-working support staff. They’re in it with you so embrace their encouragement and thank them dearly for their service. Lining the streets, you will be awash with support and encouragement from thousands of strangers. Embrace it and wave to the crowd. They will carry you towards the finish line.
Plan your post marathon feast
You will be utterly depleted at the end of the marathon, and nothing compares to devouring a feast fit for a king. Plus, the psychological effect of your favourite meal at the end of the 42.2km is like dangling the carrot (Don’t eat carrots, that’s not much of a feast). My fuel replenishment consisted of a Chicken Parma/Parmi (I’m not starting that debate) and a lager or two. Keep it delicious, somewhat nutritious and treat yourself!
Remember, there is no place like the finish line. Overwhelming elation and complete exhaustion will hit you as you pass the finish line. But it will be all worth it. You will join an illustrious group of less than 1% of the population who have finished a marathon. I hope my suggestions spur your on at least part of the way.