Declan was an All-American in Track and Field in the 800m after finishing third at indoor NCAAs, and sixth outdoors. He holds the school records both indoor and outdoor for the 800m at Loyola University Chicago where he graduated with a degree in economics. He ran post collegially for the New Jersey New York Track Club as well as the Irish national team, and is now leading up outreach and partnerships for Flashframe.
While there's about 25.7m difference between my preferred distance and the marathon, many things about running transcend distance. I may not be an expert in marathon training, runners for the marathon are about to start a time that I have a lot of experience in, and one my favorite times in the season: tapering! Here are some of my tips and tricks that brought me success in my career.
1) Trust your training!
You followed your training plan, now is the time to listen to what your body is telling you! Unless it tells you, “I’m injured.” Then it’s lying.
2) Check your travel itinerary.
Try to eliminate the stresses that arise right before the big race. Double check your hotel reservation, check your flight time and plan out your journey from the hotel to the start line. Ask people who have run the race before what you should expect the morning of the race!
Dogs are considered “man’s best friend,” unless its race week. During race week, sleep is your best friend! If you’re a night owl, start practicing going to bed early a few days out from the race and get yourself on schedule!
4) Know your course!
Try to run some easy runs the last few days on or alongside the course. It always helps to be familiar with where you are running!
5) Pack your essentials in a carry on!
You never know when your luggage may get left behind while flying, or what you might forget if you wait until the last minute. Whether traveling 3 miles or 3,000, plan ahead and make sure you have extras- JUST IN CASE!
6) Prepare for DISASTER!
You picked your marathon but you can’t pick your race day weather. Have those layers you’re willing to part with before the race so you start the race in comfort and make sure
7) Come early or leave late!
Your race will give you a chance to experience a huge portion of the city, but you will want to hit some tourist destinations along the way. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to recover from a long day on your feet checking out a new city, or plan your tourist activities for after the race! (As long as you are okay with taking things slow!)
8) Check your travel itinerary again!
Seriously, don’t miss your flight!
9) No carb left behind.
Fueling is arguably the most enjoyable part of tapering. Plan out what you want to eat the day before the race and the morning of the race! If you only like certain flavors, be sure to pack your own energy chews and gels!
10) Practice your best running pose!
As soon as the horn blows, there will be photos taken of you almost every step of the way. Some will catch your droopy down-step face, but if you see the photographer, be sure to smile, flex, jump, whatever you are inspired to do! That’s a photo you will cherish for years to come!