I had the opportunity last week to connect with some amazing locals who were able to share their advice, support, wisdom, tid bits and tricks for race day (which is less than a week away). It is common for tons of questions to flood through a runners head in the final week before the race and there can be concerns if at this point you may have overtrained or are underprepared for race day.
Christine Suter, who is lead trainer for the Whistler Half Marathon Running Clinics and one of the best coaches in town offered some great wisdom when I was able to chat with her. She shared that, “the week before is about resting and feeling ready to race –a taper is suggested which means that you shorter your runs but work on keeping your leg speed and leg turnover- Our half marathon group will meet for a 30-40min run on Tues and a 30min run on Thurs before the race Sat. – during these two runs the focus is on practicing our race day warm up and then doing a short tempo run or doing short 1min intervals again working on keeping our legs feeling fresh and full of zipp!”
She was also wise to remind me that running a race is equally mental as it can be physical and that “The week before the race is a great time to keep mentally focused by taking a few minutes to visualize your race- go through the run from start to finish imagining yourself running strong up the hills and fast down them, stay positive, imagine your friends family and the crowds cheering you on and finally imagine the finish line- running through with your hands above your head and a big smile on your face!”
For local runner Jim Budge, who will be racing for the fourth time on this course he reminds runners that “You’re not going to get any faster in the last two weeks, just get to the start line injury-free and confident ….and the last couple of days get good sleeps, hydrate, and don’t try that new jalapeno chili recipe.”
Wherever this last week before your race takes you, I wish you calm waters and smooth sailing. We will see you at the start gate!