Reposting the Disney Running 101 posts while we all get ready for marathon weekend in less than 2 weeks! Let me know if I should add anything else to the list!
For all of my Disney Running 101 posts, click here!
T-Minus 7 days and counting (according to the blog post...NOT in actual days)!!
Who's excited? Nervous? Freaking the heck out? Yeah.... we all are, don't worry!
This post will contain fun information for up until two days before the race. There will be a whole other post about the day/night before the race. There's also a whole post about the expo and what to expect.
About a week out from the race, if you haven't already, start the packing! Then if you realize you need stuff, you have time to head to the stores and not be frazzled right before you leave. If you need a refresher of my packing list, click here to see Part 2 of Disney Running 101.
As for food/nutrition during this week, don't go too crazy. It's recommended that you start to increase the percentage of carbohydrates in your diet. Don't just simply start shoving down the bread though! Eat the same amount of calories that you've been normally eating during your taper but increase the ratio of carbs slightly. Normally what I do is try to have lean protein every meal with normal servings of rice, potatoes, or pasta.
Also begin hydrating! You can’t adequately hydrate just the day before. The water you drink starting on day 5 before the race is very important. If you don't drink enough water, it's possible to be carbo-loaded but not well hydrated.
If you are flying to your race, they say to bring a liter of water for every 2 hours of flight time. Even then that might not be enough, but it will keep you from getting too dehydrated while being in a pressurized cabin. By eating normally on these days before the race plus hydrating well, you'll have stored the energy needed to complete the race!
The sleep you get the week before the big day, especially days 4 and 3, is also really important. Even if you end up wide awake all night prior to the race or even if you only get 3 to 5 hours of sleep, you'll be fine as long as you've rested before that. One less worry, right? I usually toss and turn for a long time before a huge race so I know the feeling all too well.
Two Days Before the Marathon
If you want a traditional pasta party, you should do it 2 nights before. There's new studies out that say your carbo loading should happen two days prior instead of the night before the race. I've tried it and I do feel a difference when done right. I also did the pasta dinner the night before the half last year and that also seemed to work so don't stress TOO much if you're still planning on doing the night prior. Do NOT overeat though! A giant bowl of pasta and a huge salad with lots of roughage are not recommended - you totally need moderation.
A note about carb loading at Disney... at one time I had heard that every sit down restaurant creates a separate 'runner meal' that they have on the menu for runners over the weekend. The past few years though, I didn't see it ANYWHERE I went. Not sure if I was supposed to ask for it or not but I didn't see it. Naples at Disneyland though, did have a specific runners menu that most of us ordered from.
I will say though that Disney is one of the most accommodating places when it comes to customizing meals for allergies and dietary needs. If there's something that you would like but don't see it on the menu...AND if it's fairly easy to pull together with ingredients you think they have on hand... ask for it. I've never heard of them ever saying no. If you have a specific allergy or need though (dairy, gluten, Kosher, etc) please call Disney Dining and have them add the request to your ADR.
For example... Christina and I ate at Mama Melrose at Disney Hollywood Studios to carb up. Looking at the menu, they have some yummy dishes but a lot of it is either fried or creamy, which I knew wouldn't sit well in my stomach. I asked for their famous Chicken Parmesan but requested they use a piece of grilled chicken instead of the typical fried chicken. They happily obliged and it was delicious! Don't be afraid to ask! :)
Try to also reduce caffeine and alcohol consumption. It'll just dehydrate you more. Some people need their coffee the morning of a race so stick to what you normally do. Oh...and did I mention to drink plenty of water? Not sure if I mentioned it.... ;)
And here's the biggie if you're doing Disney... Don't go crazy in the parks!!! Take it easy! Much easier said than done, right? I know its still 'vacation' and you're at Disney but TRY not to go commando. Leisurely wander the parks, take long breaks, sit down to eat. Wear sneakers around for walking...no Crocs, flip flops, Uggs, etc. You want support for your tootsies!
Please don't do what I did in October of 2010 for Wine & Dine. I didn't listen to any of my own advice and seriously went commando and park hopping both days leading up to the race as well as race day! Plus wore flip flops the first day around the Magic Kingdom. My feet were SCREAMING at me and were NOT happy on race day. I also don't think I hydrated enough and definitely didn't eat well the two days leading up to the run. :( Puking for an hour in the medical tent was NOT the way I wanted to end my race!!!
So there's Part 3! This one isn't as exciting, I know. The next few will hopefully be more informative, promise! :)