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Dumbo Double Dare Training - Week Fifteen

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"At least 99 percent of running is just showing up, getting out there and putting one foot in front of the other." John Hanc, The Essential Runner

We’re at 23 days and counting down until the 9th annual Disneyland Half Marathon and 2nd Dumbo Double Dare challenge weekend! Just a few short weeks remain and come Sunday August 31st you’ll be wearing a small army of medals in celebration of your achievement. Can you hear the sound of medal against medal already?

You know you’re going to spend a lot of time on your feet during the Dumbo Double Dare events but also keep in mind activities in the day or two leading up to the DDD and even the morning of the races may also cause you to spend more time on your legs than you expected. Given you want your legs to be fresh for the races here are a few things to keep in mind as you are planning out your weekend activities.

The Expo Scrum

If you are looking to score runDisney branded items at the Expo, chances are you’re planning on being at the Disneyland Hotel in time for the 12:00 p.m. PDT opening. Good plan but keep in mind that hundreds (if not thousands) of other folks are also looking for the perfect runDisney item to take home and they will be there waiting in line hours before the doors open. Last year I talked to folks who, when I arrived around 11:00 a.m., had already been in line for two hours to assure themselves of a runDisney Dooney & Burke bag. If you want to be there for the merchandise scrum when the doors open, know that you will be standing on a hard concrete floor as you wait in line which can cause sore feet and legs as there is no cushion to absorb weight - just a cold, hard floor. If possible bring a small cushion to sit on so you’re not standing for hours until it’s your turn to shop.

The steps add up

Ever wonder how many steps you take during a typical day at Disneyland? It may not seem like you’re racking up the miles but it’s very easy to walk anywhere from eight to ten miles (or more) in a single day in the parks. While taking in as many attractions as physically possible is part of the fun of visiting Disneyland and DCA, it’s unfortunately not how you should spend a pre-race day as those extra miles can seriously impact how your legs feel come race morning. Even standing in line waiting to get on an attraction or watching the night-time fireworks may negatively impact how your legs perform. Throw in the hot sun which drains you even faster and by race morning you could be staring at a couple of very tired legs that have no desire to run or walk any further.

If you’re like me and just can’t travel all the way to Anaheim to sit by a hotel pool when the Disney parks are just over a block away, make sure you plan several activities where you can sit and take it easy. Take in the parades from a nice curb seat or bench. Enjoy a train ride around the park. Find a spot in the shade and people watch - Thomas and I love to sit and rate the screams coming off Splash Mountain. Have a relaxing chicken dinner at Plaza Inn. Save the extra miles for after the races when it will be a benefit to your legs to keep yourself moving.

Waiting in the start corrals

Its race morning; you’ve checked your bag, stopped by the porta-potties one last time, and now you’re waiting in the start corral with hundreds of your new best friends. And to accommodate everyone you’re packed in the corral like sardines which makes it difficult to move. And not moving means it’s easy for your legs to tighten up.

Many coaches suggest doing a dynamic stretching routine while you wait to start. This type of exercise takes up very little room to do but will help keep your leg muscles warm and loose. Even something as simple as marching in place will dilate blood vessels allowing oxygen to flow to your muscles as well as raise your muscle’s temperature which helps with flexibility. Just don’t be the person in the corral wildly swinging their arms and legs to warm up; if you must pretend you’re a windmill, do so outside of the corral where you have room and join back with the corral crowd when you are done.


These are just a few things to keep in mind to keep your legs fresh for the 19.3 miles of the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge.

We’re in the last week of Magic Miles so enjoy a lighter mileage week. See you soon in Disneyland!

  • Monday – Barre3 (video)
  • Tuesday – 30 to 45 minutes running
  • Wednesday – weight training
  • Thursday – 30 to 45 minutes running
  • Friday - rest
  • Saturday – 4 miles with Magic Mile

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