We are now just 37 days away from the start of the 2019 edition of the ABP Southampton Marathon, Half and 10k races. It's a scary (and exciting) thought, right?!
With Spring in full swing and the sun shining more often than not of late, the end of March also marks a crucial juncture in your respective training programmes.
By now, most of you - regardless of what event you'll be running in come what May - are entering the final weeks of preparation.
With most of the hard work, in terms of mileage, already banked - it is important you manage your workload and get through to the start line on Sunday May 5th injury-free and feeling good.
So, here are our top tips to hopefully make that happen. Fingers crossed!
Stick to your plan
Tweaking your programme or what has worked well for you so far could have a really negative impact.
If you are keen to introduce, for example, more speed work or long-run sessions, integrate these types of workouts gradually in order to achieve a smooth transition.
It is also obviously important to plan your remaining training weeks and factor in the taper period - where traditionally - you will start to de-load your running volume three weeks before race day.
In essence, go with your hunch and trust your process.
The combination of light mornings and pleasant weather throughout the bulk of March, for most of you, has probably meant more miles! March, typically, is a runner's highest mileage month in the build-up to a Spring time marathon.
You've shown sheer dedication and commitment to get this far - so remember that. Remain positive and be proud about what you have achieved up to this point.
Adopting this kind of positive mindset will drive you to your finish line.
Sometimes the answer isn't always to run
If you are feeling a bit sluggish or tired, take a day off or two from running.
The grind of pounding mile after mile, ticking off sessions in the process, can actually become a bit all too consuming sometimes.
Get to know your body and work out what it needs and when. There is no shame in resting or mixing up your training at this point to ensure you stay fresh. In fact, if you do just that, you'll be itching to get back out there and complete your next run.
The seemingly religious eight-hour per night sleeping formula can be tricky to live up to as we all lead busy lives.
But, certainly, sleep shouldn't be underestimated and you should make time for quality shut-eye (if you haven't already)!
Naturally, sleep enables our bodies to recover and your muscles to repair and regenerate. At this stage during your training programme, your body may also feel like it needs more rest than normal.
Dedicate a lot of time to recovery
Ultimately, make sure you keep up your good recovery habits between now and the start line.
Foam rolling, post-run deep stretching, mobility work and strength and conditioning exercises in the gym will ensure you are in tip-top shape.
Recovery methods should almost serve as an add-on extension to your run, as should replenishment of your energy stores through adequate and sensible nutrition and re-hydration.
There is still time for you to sign up and run your preferred distance! You can sign up here!