So, you’ve done the bulk of the training – including your longest run – and you’re now tapering. You can still find some gains in these crucial final weeks though, especially with the help of some clever tech: namely the Fitbit Ionic.
It’s not advisable to change things up too much this late in the day, but you can still refine your runs at this point to ensure you are getting the most out of them. By actually tracking and analysing your training, you can better each of these runs with tiny improvements.
If you are dipping in pace towards the end of your run, you can try starting slightly slower next time out and maintaining the pace for longer, resulting in a quicker run overall.
Getting yourself a good fitness tracker like the Fitbit Ionic will give you access to heart rate data from not just your runs, but day to day activity from cross training, to running for a bus.
Utilising this data can be particularly useful during your tapering as you want to ensure you don’t overdo it. If you’ve been tracking your heart rate on each of your training runs, you can find your optimal heart rate and track this during the run.
Top-level athletes such as Paula Radcliffe have often talked of taking power naps in the afternoon the day before the race. We all know you need at least 8 hours two nights before, but getting it the night before isn’t so easy.
Often wrecked with nerves and last-minute panic, many a runner can get a rough night’s sleep the evening before. The last thing you want to be is tired on the start line, so a nap the afternoon before means your body has definitely had enough sleep and rest to be full of energy!
Fitbit’s Ionic can help with this thanks to its clever sleep-tracking tech, which allows you to review the quality of your sleep to help you identify whether you’re in need of a nap.
Easier said than done, we know. However, it’s really important to try and keep your mind off things in these last 24 hours. You don’t want the adrenaline getting to you otherwise you’ll be a mental wreck on the start line, and all that energy you have saved would have been gone into worrying.
Go to the cinema, hang with friends, watch the football, go for a very light swim and jacuzzi, just enjoy your Saturday. You’re running a marathon, it can get lonely, so surround yourself with good memories to keep you going.
The Ionic can help here thanks to the Relax app that comes preloaded, which guides you through some breathing exercises designed to slow your heart rate and relax you.
Lastly, make sure you’ve charged your GPS watch ready for race day. This will also help you to stick to your target pace on the day – especially when it can be very tempting to go too fast in the early stages.
We’ve been using the Fitbit Ionic for our marathon training – get yours at Fitbit.com.