Just over two weeks out from the Dublin City Marathon 2013 here are our type five top tips to ensure you’re fully prepped for the big day.

1.     Get the last long run in

Depending on your training programme you’ll likely be due to complete the last of your long runs this weekend.  Stick to your planned run length.  If you had settled on 20 miles as the final run don’t change now.  If you were going for 22 or 23 miles keep that as your target.

Avoid listening to other athletes and comparing training and preparation strategies.  It’s analogous to the pre-examination ramblings of excited students, and is likely to make you feel underprepared and serves no purpose other than to increase your nervousness.  There’s a plethora of varying strategies for marathon preparation and whether your last long run is 23 miles or 18 miles, that’s ok so long as you’re sticking to your programme.

2.     It’s taper time

Tapering doesn’t always sit well with athletes who’ve pounded the streets of the Phoenix Park all summer long.  Two weeks of minimal mileage sets off guilt alarms in participants’ heads.  Rest assured that it is the best thing to do.  You won’t decondition in two weeks and the rest period is the perfect pre-race refresher.  A couple of light 7-8 miles over the course of the two week tapering period is fine and should set you up perfectly.

3.     Stretch

Two or three stretching sessions per week over the course of the tapering fortnight, should help iron out any muscle tightness from a hard summer of training.  It may also help allay the feelings of guilt that beset the tapering runner so close to the race.  Focus on major muscle groups – calfs, gleuts, quads and hamstrings.  Dedicate 20 minutes to the stretching session and see it as part of your essential preparation.

4.     Know your race strategy

It’s important to plan your race strategy over the next two weeks.  Have an idea of the time you intend or hope to run and how you intend to keep your pace.  Do you intend to run along with pacers or keep your own time?  If you’re running with pacers how do you intend dealing with the inevitable crowds arriving at the watering stations together?  Do you intend using race energy gels and do you know which ones?  Have you tried them out prior to the day itself to be sure you can tolerate them ok?

Where do you intend having your supporters positioned?  Will you be flagging at mile 18 or 22 and need the inevitable boost of seeing your friends and family?  Or will crowds chanting “you’re nearly there” with six miles to go only serve to highlight that you’re still only in Stillorgan?

These are all elements of race strategy that are important and warrant some thought over the next two weeks.

5.     Relax

The mileage is in the bag.  That cannot be taken away from you after a long summer of training.  The hard work is now done and you should relax and enjoy the next couple of weeks.  The race itself is the reward for a summer spent training and it’s there to be enjoyed.  Best of luck to all runners on the day from Laurel Lodge Physiotherapy.