Disney World Marathon Training – Runner Question

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Race Day Picture

Cheryl asked:

We’re running in the WDW Half Marathon 2012 and aren’t sure how to plan our trip.  Should we fly down early and visit the parks, or stay after and visit then?   Is it better to be at Disney before or after marathon weekend?

Cheryl, I’m glad you asked!  This is a great question and I’m sure people have different answers.  But, since you asked my opinion, I’ll share it: Don’t plan to go into the parks until after the race.

Unless you are a highly trained athlete who runs 13.1 miles on a regular basis (more than just once or twice in training!),  you will most likely be tired and sore after the race.  Iit’s definitely recommended to be well rested before the big race, unless you’re training for Goofy or “Dopey” and are used to doing long distances multiple days in a row.  If you tour the parks like me, you most likely exhaust yourself on a daily basis – several miles of park touring a day can be extremely tiring for your body and legs, which is absolutely not recommended before a long race.

My personal preference is to fly in a day or two before the race, giving plenty of time to casually tour the Marathon Expo and get settled and rested, run the race on Saturday morning, then tour the parks Sunday on.  After my 1st half marathon, I couldn’t have imagined touring the parks.  After my 2nd half marathon, though, the idea seemed much less crazy.  In fact, walking around felt good and helped to easy my muscles after the race.  So, no need to assume you won’t tour the parks the day of the race, but, in my opinion, try your hardest not to do too much before the events!!

Happy running!  Hope to see you in January!

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3 thoughts on “Disney World Marathon Training – Runner Question

  1. It a depend on how much time you can have around after! Don’t be surprised if you’re not as your usual park pace! Good luck on your first big race. It is a much different beast than a 5k, but great either way!

  2. I just wanted to say that in my opinion I would totally hit the parks AFTER the half marathon. I am running my first in January, but have done a 5k and my daughter did her first race too. I must say that it would be good to really explore the expo before the race and then afterwards hit the parks. I just like to make sure that I am fully prepared for a race.

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