10 things NOT to do before the Breck Crest Mountain Marathon

With weeks, or even months, of training behind you, and the few days or mere hours before the big event can be more stressful than the main event. The Breck Crest Mountain Marathon, Half-marathon, 10K, and The NEW ULTRA  are more unique and adventurous than your average running event.

It’s a single day, of course, but the events leading up to the race can either put the finishing touches on a perfect training calendar or derail your chances of conquering this mountain trail event. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I have competed in the Breck Crest a few times and have a few miles under my belt and I read a lot.

These are some expert tips on WHAT NOT TO DO I found most useful and pertinent to the Breck Crest Marathon and Half Marathon.

10 things NOT to do before the Breck Crest:

1. Check Baggage: If you are flying to the venue, why tempt the baggage gods? Carry your race gear onto the flight – your race is a big deal to you, but likely lost luggage isn’t on the airline’s priority list.

2. Travel Long Distances the day before: If you can’t avoid long travel the day before be sure to stretch and walk around as much as possible.

3. Buy anything NEW to wear or eat: Stick with what works and don’t get side-tracked with good intentions by runner friends or recommendations from your Hero. Stay the course.

4. Take any NEW Advice: Another reason to relax and take some “self-time” the day before a race.  Everyone has an opinion on what is the right training, what shoes to wear, what to drink … even if it’s good advice, it’s too late.  Again, stay the course and don’t let your comrades psyche you out.

5. Become a Couch Potato:  Too much time on your feet can be detrimental, but a short easy workout is better than none at all the day before a race.

6. Go Sightseeing: Breckenridge is a great place to visit and you should absolutely check it out, but not until AFTER your race. On the eve of race day, relax, eat a good meal and plan your race … check out the town later.

7. Celebrate:  Drink as much water as possible and try to avoid alcohol at all costs.   Racing at this altitude is extremely challenging on your body and hydration is a big factor.   Plan your celebration after the race!

8. Avoid Carbs: If your race will take you 90 minutes or longer the International Journal of Sports Medicine says you need to get 70% of your total calories from carbs for the last 3 days before the big event. It’s a specific approach, but science-supported.

9.  Stay up late: Make the effort to be in bed and resting, if you can’t sleep, at a decent hour.  Everyone is different, but studies have shown that if your body is rested and revitalized, performance is enhanced.

10. Gloss over the pain: Devote some downtime to mentally tuning into the race ahead. Imagine the effort, fatigue and discomfort you will feel as you push up the Wheeler Trail … brace yourself for the discomfort and push through for performance.

Having said that, make good choices and always remember to HAVE FUN! The Breck Crest will be one adventure you will never forget!

Enjoy the Climb!