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Dumbo Double Dare Training - Week Fourteen

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"Remember, the feeling you get from a good run is far better than the feeling you get from sitting around wishing you were running." - Sarah Condor, Runner/Author

Weíre t-minus 30 days until the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend Ė can you believe the Dumbo Double Dare is almost here? Over the remaining few weeks, weíll take a look at things to consider as you prepare yourself pre-race, during the race, and post-race. This week weíll start by looking at three pre-race preparation ideas.

Race Nutrition
Three water stations will be available during the Disneyland 10k at roughly miles one, 3.5 and 5.5. Nine beverage stations offering both water and PowerAde will be available during the Disneyland Half Marathon. Note that PowerAde will NOT be available during the 10k. Drinking fountains in both parks will also be available if you need water between stations. If you are not familiar with the parks, make sure you note on the course map where a few drinking fountains are located so you know where to stop. And if you are not planning on carrying your own electrolyte drink during the half marathon and have not yet tried PowerAde, make sure you give it a try during your long training runs to see how your system reacts to it. Trying to digest something new in the hot weather during the race can be a recipe for disaster.

Same goes for Clif Shots which will be offered at the nutrition stop around mile 9 in the half marathon; they generally offer two options with caffeine and two without in a variety of flavors such as Mocha and Raspberry (I wouldnít be surprised to see their new Salted Watermelon flavor at Disneyland as well). Again, itís important to try them during your training to see if they will provide the boost you need for the last few miles and to also see how your body reacts to them. And frankly, if youíre not into creamy frosting, the texture may also be a challenge as well. Since they donít usually provide chocolate (my favorite), I carry my own supply.

Over the years, Iíve seen more than a few people suffering from Ďstomach distressí during the race after ingesting fluid or other course nutrition without first trying it in their training runs (ok - total disclosure - I'm one of them). You may find after giving them a try that they work great or perhaps that itís better to carry your own electrolyte replacements and/or nutrition. Either way, itís better to make the call before the race than be stuck during the race without an option. One other note: be careful to wash down your electrolyte with water and not with PowerAde. I learned the hard way that too much of a good thing can cause all sorts of stomach issues.

And donít forget salt! Whether you use pickle juice, mustard packets, pretzels, or salt tablets, given the heat it will be important to have something salty with you to keep your salt levels in balance. There may be aid stations offering salt but donít rely on a Ďmaybeí; be smart and bring your own.

Pre-Race Attire
While most of the internet chatter regarding race attire has been focused on costumes, itís just as important to plan what you are going to wear while waiting for the race to start. There is little doubt that temperatures will quickly climb during the race but in the early morning hours while you are waiting in the corrals to start, you may find you need something more than Tinker Bell wings to keep the chill off.

The rule of thumb is that you should be slightly chilled at the start of the race in order to avoid overheating. Many first-timers, especially from colder climates, make the mistake of over-dressing at the start with heavy sweatshirts and sweatpants. A light jacket that you can either dispose of or tie around your waist is usually all you will need. Iíve also seen race participants wearing medical scrubs, garbage bags, and bathrobes pre-race; I usually bring a light cheap fleece blanket that Iíve found on sale an off-season clearance (if you see a Valentineís blanket with hearts waiting for the Disneyland Half to start Ė itís me). Added bonus - if you donít need it for warmth, it doubles as a nifty seat cushion.

Just make sure that the items are disposed of off to the side of the road and out of the way of fellow race participants. You would hate to responsible for someone slipping on a garbage bag or tripping over a piece of clothing right at the start.

Pre-race Meals

By this point in the training program, you should have a good handle on what fuels you best to run or walk the distance. If you are traveling in from out of town for the Dumbo Double Dare weekend, the question becomes where can you find the same or similar foods either in the parks or close by? Will your hotel restaurant be open early enough for you to grab a bagel or oatmeal? Do you require a certain peanut butter or other spread? If youíre a pre-race coffee drinker, you can bet Starbucks will be open early in Downtown Disney but you can also bet there will be a heck of a wait line. Iíve found that itís easier (and frankly cheaper) to bring my own pre-race breakfast foods along with me. A couple of bagels and bananas donít take up much room in my carryon and itís just one less thing to stress in the morning.

These are just a few pre-race ideas to consider as you are finishing up the last few weeks of the Dumbo Double Dare training program.

Weíve got another double-day training week ahead. For those of you working out in the heat, take it easy and slow. Remember, itís distance not time that is important. See you soon in Disneyland!

  • Monday Ė Barre3 (video)
  • Tuesday Ė 30 to 45 minutes running
  • Wednesday Ė weight training
  • Thursday Ė 30 to 45 minutes running
  • Friday - rest
  • Saturday Ė 4 miles
  • Sunday Ė 12 miles

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