Posted: 13/10/2015 at 09:28
How many days do you have to spare after finishing the course of antibiotics and before GSR?
Last winter I had tonsillitis with an infection similar to scarlet fever, and finished my course of antibiotics about 5 days before Portsmouth Coastal Waterside Marathon, having had ten days off of training, whilst struggling to eat for 7 days of that. I managed to do a few short easy runs in the week before the marathon to loosen up my legs again, with only 1.5 miles at marathon pace in that time, then rested and hoped for the last couple of days.
It went 'ok' - a personal worst of 3:12 which was perhaps 5-7 mins slower than I might have expected on that course before getting ill - felt good to start with but was noticeably fatigued by halfway and instead of being able to raise heart rate to maintain pace I could only manage to maintain heart rate whilst slowing down drastically for my worst ever positive split. For me though I was never targeting that race as a PB so was content to adjust expectations and just get round. If it had been any other time of year I wouldn't have raced it, but in this case I had already planned (promised the wife) I would take time off training over Christmas so knew I would have plenty of time to recover after.
If you're hoping to PB at GSR then you should be realistic about it. Eg if your current 10mi PB is quite soft relative to your pre-illness fitness then you might still be in with a chance of a PB, but it's not going to be as good as what you might have achieved otherwise, and you might take longer to recover afterwards than normal. If you're still on antibiotics or feeling tired by race day then I would suggest either bin it, or just jog round GSR to get your money's worth in massages, jelly babies, goody bag etc and soak up the atmosphere. Plenty of other races around so not worth flogging yourself if you're not recovered. If you're local and looking for a 10mi PB in particular then the Lordshill 10 (or Hayling 10 weather dependent) gives a better PB opportunity without the crowds.
As for prep in the last few days - I would suggest mainly sleep, rest, fuel, hydration, no alcohol, an easy run or two to get the legs ticking over again - maybe a very short burst at race pace to remind your body what it feels like, but avoid any real speed work as it's too late and would do more harm than good.