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Marathon Advice - The Last Two Weeks

Cork Athletics Webmaster's Advice for the Final Two Weeks Before Your Marathon

 marathon advice last two weeks


Long Run & Speedwork

Long run two weeks before event: 15 max - EASY!!! pace

DON'T be tempted to do any last minute long runs or strenuous speedwork in the last two weeks, but particularly in the final week. You CAN'T do too little....but you CAN do too much. The last two weeks are for tapering and building up glycogen stores in the body

Do too much now and you'll blow your full potential!


Missed speed sessions or long runs, due to injury or illness? DON'T try to get it in at this stage. If you've missed a lot, maybe scale back on your expectations. If you've only missed a little, you'll probably be OK...just DON'T try to make up for lost training time now

Mon/Tues of last week before event: Last speed work - light speed session, holding back, or 2 miles med/hard, but NOT all out


Any heavy work in the last 10 days WILL do you damage. Its hard to do too little, but you can very easily do too much!!



runner drinking water

For the last 10 days (before the event) or so, get plenty of fluids on board. Drink WATER often, several times a day - more than normal. By Fri/Sat week, you need literally to have to get up during the night to get rid of excess

Excuse the detail: your aim (no pun intended) is light-straw coloured urine at all times (this is the acid test) [not uric acid <grin>]. If you drink a lot in one go, it will become clear but will return to "normal" after some time (12-24 hours) Proper hydration will keep it clear all the time.  Binge drinking water/fluids may flush out the electrolytes from your system, making fatigue and cramp more likely.  Drink little and often - allow your system to find its natural equilibrium



runner drinking alcohol

Alcohol - will dehydrate you - go easy for the last 4 or 5 days, particularly last 2 days (too little
time to flush system & rehydrate fully)

soda cola 1 1502472962

Soft drinks - too much will deplete your potassium levels

Apparently even a 2% deficit in hydration levels will have a HUGE detrimental effect on performance

Carbo Depletion/Loading

Depletion - cutting out/down on carbohydrate for 3-4 days - Probably not a good idea - tried it once. Current wisdom is against it


runner carbo loading

Definitely a good idea. Will be less effective if you don't hydrate AND get plenty of vitamin C on board. For the last 4 days or so get PLENTY of carbohydrates in - substitute carbos for protein


protein meat

Burns dirty. Eat very little protein in last 24 to 36 hours, same goes for high fibre foods, otherwise you will probably need to stop for a (p)it stop in the first 10 miles or so

 runners portaloo



Download Cork Athletics Webmaster's Advice - The Last Two Weeks - PDF File


Download Cork Athletics Webmaster's Advice - On The Day - PDF File


Download Cork Athletics Webmasters Advice - Recovery - PDF File

John Quigley, Cork Athletics Webmaster, has a Marathon best of 2:46:03, has run 26 Marathons in all, and has been running for almost four decades

About Us

Cork Athletics County Board is a constituent member of Athletics Ireland. Cork Athletics is the governing body, administering athletics, track and field (T&F), cross-country (XC) and running in county Cork. The Board comprises elected representatives of constituent athletic clubs and running clubs. Cork County Board AAI organises Championship races and competition, including road, track & field (T&F) and Cross-country (XC), at junior, juvenile, senior and masters levels, and selects representation for the county. In addition, training and education is provided for coaches and officials. The Board also regulates the Athletics Ireland race/event permit (licence) process for county Cork.
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