April 13, 2014 at 3:20 PM ET
Uta Pippig is a marathon legend, the first woman to win three consecutive Boston marathons. As TODAY's Natalie Morales prepares to attempt her sixth marathon, and first run in Boston, on April 21, Pippig will be sharing her daily training tips with TODAY.com. Here's her fourth one:
Rest can be the most effective tool at this late stage of your marathon preparation to help you be in the best running shape for your Big Day. So, if you don’t feel you have fully recovered yet, please take an additional rest day or decide on an easier workout. Train in a way that leaves you feeling more and more energized, ready, and focused for your race.
Allow your body to recover with good sleep as well. Among other benefits, adequate sleep will help repair muscle tissue, strengthen your immune system, and sharpen your focus. Getting enough sleep will help you to have a fresh mind. A marathon can be such a mental game. Play it strong! Give yourself the greatest chance to be mentally and physically at your BEST. By keeping the final days relaxed and without stress, as much as possible, you can help your body achieve optimal mental and physical strength—all leading to a better performance on race day. Your sleeping opportunities can be enhanced by prudently planning your travel and last-minute preparation for the final week.
Natalie Morales is running the Boston marathon to raise money for The One Fund, which supports victims of the 2013 Boston marathon bombing and their families, and the Challenged Athletes Foundation, which helps people with disabilities remain active in sports. Learn more and donate on Natalie's Crowdrise page.
Uta Pippig won the Boston Marathon three times, the New York City marathon once, and the Berlin marathon three times. Born in what was then East Germany, she is now an American citizen based in Boulder, Colo., where she coaches runners, has a health foundation called Take the Magic Step and does motivational speaking with her Running To Freedom series.