This is getting real. In 4 weeks today (!!) you will have finished your Melbourne Marathon Festival run … 5, 10, 21, or 42.195km! You will have known the joy of waiting in queues for the loo, standing around in short shorts in 7degC with other shivering semi-clad people, sung the national anthem, and felt thrill of crossing the start line … all before most of Melbourne has woken up, let alone rolled out of bed! And around the time most of the city is sipping its first latte, you will have run the hallowed turf of the MCG, crossed the finish line, and felt the exhilarating weight of a finishers medal around your neck!
What’s happening between the startline and the finish? I suggest you check it out. Click here and you can check out the course. Just click on the relevant race for you on the right of the web page. There are two really good reasons to do this 27 days out.
- As you are training over the next few weeks, you can focus your race-specific training to the course … the undulations (nope, Linlithgow / Birdwood is NOT a hill – it just feels like it after 37km!), the road surface, the turns, the drink stations. If you are an old hand, remember that the ED does minor course alterations each year.
- When you have nothing else to do in those meetings / as you are drifting off at night, you can visualise the course. In a crowd of several thousand, its easier to negotiate the drink stops when you know where they come up. When your legs are burning you will know that this hill is only 200m (Fitzroy st (42km) or Linlithgow ave (21km)) before you level out onto St Kilda Road. It also helps to have a generally good idea of where the course runs so that you know what is coming up. Where will you take your gels / nutrition (not on an uphill!), refill your water bottle or see your mates on course* (More on that one later)
Nothing will beat the feeling of being out there, but knowing the course beats unavoidable surprises on the day.
Running Tip #9: Check out the course well before you run it!