IT’S HERE. IT’S FINALLY HERE.
The week of 2017’s LA marathon is upon me. This is my first marathon ever, so everything that I’m feeling and experiencing is all extremely new. The excitement of running in the streets of the city that I was born and raised in is a surreal idea.
I’ve seen amazing videos like the one above that show just how incredible marathons are. When you strip away the competitive aspect and see it for what it is, you begin to realize that you’re tackling a 26.2 mother flipping run! That’s absurd! I feel like the linked video shows just how communal and diverse marathons can be. I’m going to run in parts of LA that I never knew existed while sharing space with fellow runners for the first time. That’s the inherent beauty of it all. We’re collectively doing the same thing and doing it for the love of tackling something bigger than ourselves. Sure, for some, it’s about the finish time, but for all it’s seeing that 26.2 mile “mountain” and climbing that beast until you can yell victory at the top. It’s a beautiful thing that I can only dream of right now.
I put the course map below just to give you an idea of the diversity; I mean, the title says it all: stadium to sea. Dodger’s stadium to Santa Monica is an incredibly diverse run. That elevation gain is pretty damn diverse, too.
Let’s make one thing clear: I don’t really know what I’m doing. I mean, does anyone really in prep for their first marathon?
All of our bodies are so different, which can only mean that we’re going to pick and choose what we think our body would want and what it would respond to best. It takes a lifetime to truly understand what’s best for our bodies, so knowing that in the context of your first marathon is definitely subjective. The last thing we should do is incorporate something new during the final week leading up to the race; if you haven’t used something during your 20+ weeks of training, there’s no point to do it now.
With all of that being said, please take my top picks with a grain of salt. Hey, maybe I even mean that literally – a grain of salt might be your thing. Lol? Does that even deserve a lol? I don’t know.
DON’T RUN DURING MARATHON WEEK.
The week of the marathon is an interesting week because despite it being the day you’ve been prepping for over the course of months, you should do everything a little differently now. For example, in my mind, running would be a bad idea. I want my legs to feel as good as they ever have. I’m looking to fly like an eagle, baby. Having any setbacks and discomfort in my legs would completely throw me off of my game.
I’ve dedicated this week to riding the stationary bike. I don’t want my legs to forget what movement feels like as equally as I want them to be rested. Somewhat of a side note: some say that riding a stationary bike could make you a more overall faster runner. See if that’s the case for you.
HYDRATE LIKE YOU’RE DRYER THAN THE SAHARA DESERT.
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to stay hydrated. Yes, that means hydrating your body well before the morning of. I really can’t stress that enough. Think about it: you’re setting off to run 26.2 miles. Runner’s World presented an article about knowing your sweat rate, which is a crucial piece of information to know.
Just for fun, let’s see how much water I will lose on race day. Based on my weight and the foretasted temperature, I’ll be losing about 150 fluid ounces during the marathon. That’s pretty absurd. Point is: drink a ton of water during your final week.
CARB LOAD! NO, REALLY.
It’s not a myth. Really – eat your carbs. The body uses carbs to burn for fuel, and once the storage of carbs is depleted then the body will turn to fat. You might be thinking: why not just eat fatty foods prior to the race? Eating fatty foods prior to running isn’t as efficient as carbs because it takes the body longer to burn the fat. Plus, you don’t want your body going directly to its “backup plan” when you can properly nourish your body with a heavy dose of carbs.
WHAT TO BUY.
This is more preparation work than actual week of activity, but I wanted to share everything that I’ve bought for myself for the big day.
Spoiler alert: Fresh Pressed Health is a huge fan of natural products. I know: mind-blower. Honey Stinger makes all natural gels, goos, bars, and some other really cool products. I bought myself the pack of energy gels to the right. They were also nice enough to hand us a huge goody bag of treats when we visited them at Natural Products Expo West 2017 (snaps to them).
If you’re looking to get some of these in bulk, I got a great deal on Amazon.
I was at the Los Angeles Convention Center to pick up my bib for the race and realized that I needed to be loading my body up with some
electrolytes prior to race day. nuun was there, so I grabbed some of their ginger lemonade flavor and have been dropping some in my water as easy as I drop my credit card down for some food at Whole Foods.
Grab some lemonade ginger nuun here.
I’ve had these socks for a while, but I love them and refuse to run in any sort of race without them. MudGear socks are extremely padded and give me comfort–I’m not sure if it’s true comfort to my feet or just comfort to my soul at this point. Regardless, I love them. Some people might be discouraged due to their trail running function, but I’m personally not too strict. I think they’re an extremely practical option given that if you can run in mud terrain with them, you should be able to annihilate a marathon in them. Again, take it with that grain of salt (if you haven’t eaten it, yet). Lol? Ok. I’ll stop.
Snag your socks on here.
So, this concludes my words of advice on the week of the marathon manual. I’ve laid down my foundation, and I invite you to take and grab what you think will work best for you. Remember: our bodies are so beautifully different and these are all suggestions that come from my own subjectivity. I trust you, and so should you! If you’re on your way to your first marathon, a huge congrats to you !!