In exactly 2 weeks I’ll be in Amsterdam with LFR for the Marathon and Half-Marathon and can’t wait. The training plan has gone well for a change. Ok, so what I mean by that is that training has been ok. Well, by ‘ok’ I mean its not gone badly. This is strange because normally, as with everyone else, I find training plans tend to wobble a bit in the middle when niggles, the job, relationships and life all get in the way and motivation goes out of the window…but not this time.
Not that there was much of a plan to start with mind you. I knew very precisely what my goal for this upcoming race would be. I also knew what my usual running mileage and habits were and therefore knew what I’d need to do in order to hit the target. So the plan was simply to run my normal stuff, but add increasing amounts of speed work. Simples.
It doesn’t mean race-day will go the way I want it, but that’s all part of the game. There are way too many variables on the day itself to think that simply sticking to the plan is a guarantee of success, but understanding that the day itself can throw anything at you and trying to limit the variables as much as possible is a good idea and this is typically one of the most overlooked parts of training. Its like falling at the last hurdle.
When race day arrives it pays to be prepared or even very prepared. Make a list of what you will need on the day, and have it all packed and laid out the night before and if traveling, then do this before packing and leaving home it so you know you’ve got what you need before leaving home. Plan for sun, plan for rain. Plan for a cold day and what you’ll wear if the weather is changeable. Plan to take an extra layer you can throw away on the startline. You see people using bin bags but they really are not very good. Plan your diet for the few days prior to the event and make sure you try out race day breakfasts before the big day to avoid any unwelcome stomach issues. This includes checking with the hotel and what they have on offer and what time breakfast starts in the morning. You don’t want to leave that to the morning of the race to find out that you need to leave the hotel before they serve breakfast. Most importantly, know your morning pre-race routine, and don't be last in line at the portable race loos because you were busy doing a group-selfie. This is not where you want to be when the race countdown starts.
Basically all the hard work in training can come undone by not planning the last few days closely enough and paying attention to last-minute detail. So that’s where I am now, starting to think about what I need to have in place for the day itself whilst winding down the physical training.
Whatever happens on the day, as it’s a cub trip, I am sure that there’ll be plenty of fun to be had and no matter what it will be great to support the rest of the team. Bring it on!