Peaking for Performance: One Week to Go!

In the last week prior to your marathon, you can do far more harm than good in terms of training. Now is the time to rest-up, eat well, and taper your training back to induce freshness and an excitement for running.

Early in the week, try to schedule a professional massage if you can. A good deep-tissue massage can work wonders for relaxing tight muscles, clearing waste products, aid the healing of old injuries, and leave your legs primed for 26.2mls.

The chief goals this week are to start feeling spry on your runs, do just enough training to keep your edge, and focus on increasing carbohydrate intake a bit in the last 3-4 days prior to your race. Make your travel plans early so that you can relax this week as your race nears. Also, try to avoid any undue work or life responsibilities to avoid extra mental stress this week (easier said than done, I know!).

You may start having feeling of pre-race anxiety or significant nerves prior to embarking on your marathon this week. Try to avoid any negativity, as your mind can directly influence your physical performance on race day.

Elite runners will often speak with sports psychologists before a major marathon, but most of us won’t have that luxury. All you need to do is to repeat to yourself that you are extremely fit, prepared for your race, and to ban any thoughts that might interrupt this positive self-image from your mind. Develop a “mantra” if needed to shirk these thoughts, and use one during your race when you hit a rough patch. Something simple like “Powerful stride” or “For my wife” will do the trick in a pinch.

The below is a hypothetical final week for two different runners we have seen in the last few articles of Peaking for Performance. Notice that both runners are making an extra effort to rest this week and be primed to race at their best!

Runner 1:

First or Second Year Runner, Limited Background in Formal Training

Time Goal- 4hrs

Sun- Long Run (12mls in Race Gear w/ Fueling; one-week to race)
Mon- Rest
Tues- 30min XT
Wed- Easy 40min Run, 4x 12sec Max Hill Sprints
Thurs- WU, Tempo Run (3mls @ Goal Marathon Pace), WD
Fri- Rest
Sat- Rest

Runner 2:

Highly Competitive Runner, Extensive Background in Formal Training

Time Goal- 2:40

Sun- WU, 8mls @ Goal Marathon Pace, WD (one week to race; run in race gear w/ fueling)
Mon- Rest
Tues- Easy 50min
Wed- Mod 40min, Short Hill Sprints
Thurs- WU, 3x 1600m @ Half-Marathon-10K Pace w/ 400m Recovery Jogs, WD
Fri- Rest
Sat- Very Easy 30min, Light Strides

Recommended reviews

Expert score

Saucony Omni 19 Review

The Saucony Omni 19 is a moderate stability shoe that is incredibly ... (Read expert review)
Expert score

Adidas Adizero Adios Pro Review

The Adidas Adizero Adios Pro is the flagship Adidas racing shoe and is a ... (Read expert review)
Expert score

Hoka One One Rocket X Review

The Hoka Rocket X is the sequel to the Evo Carbon Rocket. It has a brand new ... (Read expert review)
Expert score

Hoka One One Rincon 2 Review

The Hoka One One Rincon 2 offers the same speedy but light shoe that its ... (Read expert review)
Expert score

New Balance Fresh Foam 860 v11 Review

The New Balance 860 v11 adds a touch of comfort to a very stable feel ... (Read expert review)
Expert score

Asics GT 2000 9 Review

The ASICS GT 2000 9 is a moderate stability trainer. It is a durable and ... (Read expert review)

This web site uses cookies. Click Accept to continue. Review Our Cookie Policy

On these and other websites owned by RSG Media BV we use cookies and other similar techniques.

We place and use different types of cookies for the following purposes:

Functional cookies:
To make our websites work as intended.

Analytical cookies:
To collect and analyze statistics to improve the experience on our websites and the effectiveness of advertisements.

Tracking cookies:
To build personal profiles of you so that we can show you targeted content and advertisements that match your interests.

Social cookies:
To allow you to share your reaction through 'likes' or commentary.

In addition, third parties (which are partly outside the EU) can place cookies on our websites, including tracking cookies that can also be used to build up a profile of you. Tracking cookies may have an impact on your privacy.

By giving your consent below, you agree that we place and read cookies on all our websites (see this overview) and combine these collected data.

Your consent remains valid for 6 months unless you withdraw it.