It's the countdown to the Baltimore Running Festival, where thousands of runners will take to the city streets this weekend to run what they hope is the best 26.2 miles of their life.
It will feel like spring on race day with the weather forecast calling for temperatures in the mid-50s at the beginning and a high of 74 expected for that day. That could mean a comfortable start to the race, but a warm finish. Expect to see runners peeling off clothes by the end.
The running festival also includes a half marathon, 5k and children's fun run. If you're getting excited from all the hype around the race there are a few hundred spots still available across all the distancees because of dropouts and returned entries, according to the running festival website.
Online registration is closed but you can sign up at the race expo at M&T Bank Stadium Thursday and Friday. Just make sure you're prepared to run if you sign up at the last minute. A marathon is no easy feat and one that should be done with proper training.
Here are some tips for runners this last week that I pulled from Active.com. The running website said this last week is the most crucial time to taper.
This is the last long run before the marathon, and its primary purpose is to give you a final boost of confidence.
Action: Run 10 to 12 miles at an easy pace.
From here on in, reduce each run by at least one mile. It doesn't really matter how long you run in these remaining days, as long as you don't run any farther than your previous day's workout.
Action: Run easy slower than your desired marathon pace for six miles or less.
TuesdayIt's a good idea to do one workout in which you take the pace up to marathon race pace or slightly quicker. This isn't a speed workout. You simply want to run a few miles at a controlled, relaxed effort.
Action: Run one mile to warm up, then run 3 x 1 mile at marathon race pace or slightly faster. Cool down with one easy mile.
If you've been supplementing your running with strength work or cross-training, it's time to stop. You won't get any stronger at this point, and your body needs to rest.
Action: Run easy for five miles or less.
Today's run and any subsequent runs help to keep your muscles loose and remind your body that it has a job to do. Keep your runs easy and relaxed.
Action: Run easy for four miles or less.
Do something you enjoy, but don't do anything out of the ordinary or anything that might get you hurt.
Action: Run very easy for three miles, or rest.