Saturday, April 28, 2001

Pig runners: Take it easy

Sence offers advice for week before the race

        So you've trained for 18 weeks. You've put in the miles, done your long runs. You are ready for the third Flying Pig Marathon. But you're asking: Now what? You still have a week before the gun goes off for the 26.2-mile race.

        John Sence, who has run the fastest marathon ever by a Cincinnatian, says to take it easy.

  The third Pig already has 6,200 runners registered. That's as many as last year's record field.
  “It's been going great,” race director Rich Williams said. “Last year at this point, we were at 5,800.”
  The new Papa John's Flying Pig 5 Mile has drawn 1,200 runners so far.
  You can register for the Flying Pig at or by calling 513-721-PIGS.
        “The final week is a period of recovery and healing,” he said. “Do enough work to keep your blood flowing. If you err, err on the side of caution and keep your training light.”

        Here are Sence's pointers for the final week:

        • All week long: Drink plenty of water. Hydration is a major key. Don't simply hydrate the day before. It's a good idea to drink at least 8 ounces of water or replenisher eight times a day. You may feel like you are putting on a little weight the last week or two because you are tapering. This is natural. Don't try to back off your intake too substantially, or you may suffer late in the race.

        • Taper: Here's a good example of how to train this week:

        Monday — 20-35 minutes of easy running with stretching.

        Tuesday — 1-2 miles of easy running, followed by 6-x-100 meters or 20-second strides (steady running). You should do two easy, two moderate and two moderately hard - none should be hard. If you have been doing speed work consistently, you also may want to incorporate 4-x-800 meters at your goal marathon pace.

        Wednesday — 20-30 minutes of very easy running.

        Thursday — 20-30 minutes of easy running, followed by 6-x-100 strides at no faster than race pace.

        Friday — Off day.

        Saturday — Light jog of 10-15 minutes.

        • The night before: Don't eat anything new. Stick with something you know will digest and settle well.

        • Last-minute details: Cut your toenails to prevent cuts that can be painful and prevent you from having a solid race. If you have new shoes, be sure they have been broken in well to prevent blisters.

        • Race morning: Arrive early. Do a combination of walking and very light jogging, followed by stretching. The goal is to get as loose as you can by expending as little energy as possible. Arrive with your race number already pinned to your shirt so you aren't scrambling to find an extra pin. Lubricate your arm pits to prevent chaffing and painful scraping. Finally, position yourself in the race corral in an area that will prevent you from going out too hard.

        • The race: The first third of the race, hold back emotionally. Don't get caught up in the excitement of the day. Talking to those around you also will prevent you from getting out too hard. During the second third of the race, gather information on how your body feels. Concentrate on maintaining pace or gradually increasing pace. If possible, find someone around you to work with to get you through this section. The last 4 miles of the race is when you simply let go. This is where the race begins if you are racing. Once you hit the 26-mile mark, you're home, so let it go the last .2 miles.


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