Updated 01 April 2015

My 8 week journey to the 21km Two Oceans Marathon - week 6

The start line is in sight. Here's what I've been up to and how I plan to approach my final days of preparation.

The real countdown has begun – the race day is only 7 days away, and despite my journey being bumpy, I can't wait to live my dream on 4 April.

People say that at this stage of training one starts feeling anxious, but I'm not. The nerves have subsided and regardless of my injury I am mostly excited – touch wood!

Although the last few weeks have been filled with rest and shock waves to my leg muscles, my injury has not completely healed.

I've been doing Shock Wave Therapy at the Sports Science Physiotherapy Centre, and all the pain seems to be paying off. My Physiotherapist, Damian Swartz, strapped my ankle and says that at this stage of the treatment he is confident that I will make it to the startline. He will confirm this after a 10-12km run this weekend. More from Damian in the video at the end of this blog.

With only a few days left before the big day I have consulted the experts and have a few pearls of wisdom to share:

Physical preparation

At this stage of your training you should be reducing the distance and intensity of your runs. It is important to continue running but to do less to give your legs some time to rest before the race.

Read more on tapering your runs before the Two Oceans.

Also, remember that it is important to get enough sleep in the last week as the night before the race may be filled with nerves and excitement, which may disturb your rest.

If you have any last minute concerns about an injury, it's best to have it checked out or strapped. You can visit Damian Swartz at The Physiotherapy Centre.

Mental preparation

Drive along the route and familiarise yourself with it to avoid feeling lost or anxious on the day of the race. Remind yourself why you are doing this and feel proud of yourself as the day approches. Also bear Clinton Gahwiler's (The Sports Psychologist at SSISA) words in mind:

"Focus only on what you can control. What happens on race day will happen on race day, but you only have the ability to control how well you prepare – and stressing about things outside your control is pointless."

Read more on mind games for marathon runners.

Watch the video for more from the experts and the OMTOM Inspiration group:

Please continue to share your running experiences by using the hashtag #OMTOMInspiration on Twitter.

You can follow me on Twitter @Yentl_Barros, as well as my team mates Martin – @Martinbeta1, Neil – @NeilCarrick and Bronwyn – @BronskiBean.

Here are the rest of my blogs, in case you missed one:

My 8 week journey to the 21km Oceans Marathon - week 5

My 8 week journey to the 21km Two Oceans Marathon – week 4

My 8 week journey to the 21km Two Oceans Marathon – week 3

My 8 week journey to the 21km Two Oceans Marathon – Week 2

My 8 week journey to the 21km Two Oceans Marathon – Week 1

My 8 week journey to the 21k Two Oceans Marathon – Week 0

Be inspired during the 2015 Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon.

#OMTOMInspiration is a joint venture between the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon, the Sports Science Institute of SA (SSISA), Runner's World and

Follow all OMTOM updates and remember to add the hashtag #OMTOMInspiration!

On Twitter @Health24com@2OceansMarathon, Runners World and @Sportscience sa




Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Lifestyle »

E-cigarettes: Here are five things to know

E-cigarettes have become hugely popular in the past decade, but a rash of vaping-linked deaths and illnesses in the US is feeding caution about a product that's already banned in some places.

Allergy »

Ditch the itch: Researchers find new drug to fight hives

A new drug works by targeting an immune system antibody called immunoglobulin E, which is responsible for the allergic reaction that causes hives.