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Resting Up for Race Day

Seeing family and friends on the course helps to keep me going. Here, I think I'm reaching for a banana. (Thanks, Mom!)

Well here we are - race week! I've put in the miles and now I have to let myself taper, stretch and rest before the big day. Last week's training started to slowly decrease mileage, and this week will be a big change, running only 4 to 5 miles a few times before the big 13.1. Saturday morning I laced up my sneakers for my second NYRR run this month – the Scotland Run 10K. Not only was it fun to see everyone sporting their Scottish pride by wearing kilts and flags, they had bagpipers at every mile mark playing for the crowds! After the race I needed to tack on an extra 4 miles to complete my long run, but instead I cut it short and went home. The past two weeks I have been feeling achier than usual and often exhausted, which is most likely from overtraining (yes, that is a bad thing!). By committing to a more difficult training schedule than you are used to you can risk doing too much, which then leads to injury. Getting injured the week of the half-marathon is something I would be none too pleased about should it happen. Here are some warning signs I've noticed that I was starting to overtrain:

  • A dull nagging pain that started to develop at the bottom of my foot.
  • Constantly feeling tired.
  • Feeling monotonous during my runs.
  • Most importantly: Not enjoying myself! I run to relieve stress and feel good about myself, so if running is causing me stress, that sort of defeats the point.

Because of these tidbits I've decreased my long runs the past two weeks and I think come race day I'll be happy I did. My longest run during training has been 12 miles and my last long run was 10 miles. I'm sure I'll hit a wall during the run, but hopefully the adrenaline and excitement from the day will help push me through that last leg of the race and maybe achieve a PR in the process!

Now tell me: Have you ever overtrained for a race? What were some of the signs that signaled it was time for you to chill out?