Secret Weapons for Marathon Week


Before this marathon happens in *gulp* 6 days, I have to get things organized. The day before a marathon should be spent resting and inhaling ingesting carbs. Don’t overwhelm yourself by leaving a ton to do/organize/layout the week and night before.

The week of the marathon (i.e. right now!) I make trips to Target, grocery store or a running store to have exactly what i need for race week/day. Over the weekend, I picked up Gatorade, Honey Stinger gel & chews, bagels. What I forgot was anti-chafe cream. Totally slipped my mind. Another good reason to shop early in the week–you will forget something. Plan on running out to the store 2-3 times for last minute items. I usually make a list and then leave it on the table at home. It’s the thought that counts.. unless your thoughts are left behind, of course.

I do my running laundry in the middle of the week so most of my clothes are clean. Heaven forbid the night before a race my favorite shorts are dirty and i’m up late waiting for laundry to finish. I just bought these 2 pairs of Under Armour shorts over the weekend, super comfy, and long enough inseam so the thighs aren’t rubbing together–now which color to wear??


Put a Marathon Playlist together.  This is a big one for me because I love setting the tone of a race to music. This training cycle I listened to a lot of Say Anything, Reliant K, the Starting Line, Jimmy Eat World, The Thermals…So i’m probably not venturing out too far. I have a secret weapon though.. and i’ve wanted to share it for a long time. I listen to this Dj called Pogo and if you haven’t listened to his stuff you need to do it RIGHT NOW. Pogo remixes a lot of Disney music which brings back a ton of memories, makes running feel fun and keeps my legs churning. There is nothing like running on trails listening to this guy.. i swear it will change you.

The week before a marathon is a good time to stress out, freak out, question your training etc.. As i said plenty of times before–i’m working very hard on positive thinking before, during and after a race. A good way for me to do this is not to fine comb my training log and focus on,  well, what I’ll be focusing on during the race. Where will my positive thinking drive from? What do i tell myself when my body wants to quit in the later miles?

My go-to mantra has been “earn the downhill” because most of my races have been extremely hilly. This time around I might use something Shalane Flanagan mentioned in a recent article, her mantra during Boston was something her coach says to her, “don’t lose your shit.” She wanted to keep calm, cool & focused. I don’t have one as of yet, but i’m working on it!


new shorts, new shoes ❤

So there you go, my secret weapons to have a race day go well, get your fuel & race day items ready way beforehand, get a playlist/mantra together, lay out your exact clothes & relax the day before while your iPod/phone/garmin are charging ;). Also- I have a check list from an old post that I’m going to update below, so if you want to just copy and print, it will help for the week of your race!

Race Checklist 

__Garmin Watch (charged!)

__Ipod/armband/headphones (charged!)

__Sports Bra

__Shorts/Capri’s/Throwaway pants

__Shirt/or Throwaway Shirt

__Socks/Compression Socks

__Running Shoes

__Sandals & after race clothes/deodorant/body wipes

__Anti-Chafe Cream

__Aspirin/pain reliever (for after race)


__Hair ties/headbands

__Gels or Sports Drinks/Water/Nuun/Pre-Race Food (doesn’t hurt to have extra left in your car, hotel, or with family)

__Race Confirmation/Course Map (for friends or family who are attending & for race morning!)

Last Week’s Work

Monday: 6m fartlek 7:26/pace, 35 min biceps/back, 30 min abs

Tuesday: 5m easy 8:10/pace

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 10m easy 7:51/pace, 15 min abs

Friday: 30 min TRX full body, 10 abs

Saturday: 3.2 easy 8:50/pace

Sunday: 5.4 tempo 7:44/pace

Total Miles: 30

What is your “power song” or mantra you use during a race?

What else should I add to my Race Checklist??


Author: She's Going the Distance


20 thoughts on “Secret Weapons for Marathon Week

  1. Can’t wait to cheer you on! How do you feel about encouraging signs?

  2. Wear the bright ones!! I can definitely imagine myself running on trails to Pogo… Do you listen to Ratatat at all?

  3. I also love the bright ones – I always choose the brightest, loudest stuff whenever possible! 🙂

    Can’t help on music stuff – I have never run with music, probably never will … just not my thing.

    And definitely agree on the ‘brain-dead shopping’ – I will go for one item, get six things and STILL forget the one thing I originally went for! haha!

    I also love the ‘don’t lose your sh!t’ mantra 🙂

  4. Always pick the brighter ones! I wish I could come watch and make inappropriate signs for you 😉

  5. Like everyone else said, I like the bright shorts! But I guess it also depends on what top you’re wearing. It sounds like you have everything you need on your checklist! I like “earn the downhill”- I will need to use that in my next hilly race!

  6. I love the bright shorts!! My top recommendation would be hair ties, but they’re already on your list;) Good Luck, girl!

  7. Have speed races the next few weeks then I start marathon training. Your post is already giving me anxiety lol

  8. During my especially long runs I like to think of all the things I’m going to get to do when I’m done. Like go get a giant Starbucks or drink a bottle of wine later. (Not really. Okay maybe kind of.)

    This is a great checklist and I think I might need to copy/paste from you! I wouldn’t have thought of most of these things! Good luck with your taper week. You are going to be amazing!!!

    • Aw i’m glad the list helps, i need one each race, cause i forget everything! and when i do long runs on a really hot day, i’ve literally pictured an ice cold beer at the end. or sangria.. or iced coffee. mmmmm….

  9. I am SOOOOOO excited for you!!!!!!!!! Was that enthusiastic enough? 🙂 You’re going to rock it!

  10. Pingback: Wordless Wednesday – the Button I Did NOT Want to Click | Running Around the Bend

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