Q9. I am doing the Edinburgh Marathon in May. This will be my first marathon. Training has been going well. I have already reached up to 18 miles and I have a 20 mile race (treating as a training run) in a weeks time. I am planning to taper down 3 weeks before. I am also going to run a 10K race two weeks before.
1. Is it a good idea to run a 10K hard 2 weeks before?
2. What distances do I need to run a week before?
3. What should be my food intake in the week leading up to my marathon? – mark bedford
A9. It's fine to do a 10k 2 weeks before. Assuming you're not also trying to do a long run that weekend!
A week before the race, no run you do is going to actually contribute to your fitness come race day. It's merely a matter of keeping things ticking over so it's important that you listen to your body. Recovery is the key aim by then, so if you don't feel like running, don't. The bigger temptation is normally to do too much. Again, don't! I normally run Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday before a Sunday marathon. But all except Tuesday would be 20-30 mins easy with a few strides at the end. Tuesday I would do a small amount of race pace or faster - but still cap the session at 4-5 miles.
Food wise, you don't need to step up your calories to 'carbo load' because the reduction in training volume allows you to 'store' more. Make sure you have a good source of carbs in every meal or snack. The best thing to do to find out more is watch Ruth McKean's vodcast or visit her Q&A from a week or so back on this site on marathon nutrition.