Entering yourself in to the London Marathon was the first step on an incredible journey.
No doubt you’ve put a lot of preparation in, unless you’re backing yourself and going ahead with little or no training.
You may be a seasoned athlete taking on your first endurance event or totally new to training but there are some important things to note in the coming weeks to make race day as smooth as possible.
1) New running shoes
If you’re starting to feel the miles you’ve racked up have put your trainers through their paces, then now is the time to change them. You don’t want to make any changes too soon to your race but the extra cushioning could be crucial in preventing knee or ankle pain in the 16th mile. Make sure you’ve broken them in sufficiently and completely at least one long run in them in the coming weeks.
2) New kit
The same rule applies for your shoes and it does for your kit – don’t wear brand new kit on the day of the race. You need to ensure what you’re wearing is comfortable and doesn’t warrant a second thought after you put in on in the morning.
Putting kit on you haven’t worn before could result in chaffing or overheating (or being too cold for that matter!).
Take away as many unknowns as possible at the London Marathon by making sure your kit supports you. Look for moisture wicking fabrics (like our very own Quick-Dri™ solution) to keep your body at the optimum temperature mile on mile.
You’ve followed your training plan for months and coming in to the next few weeks it will give you shorter runs to do. Make sure you make the most of these!
With the shorter runs, you’ll find yourself running faster and recovering quicker. Optimise this window in your training plan by eating well, sleeping plenty, staying hydrated and resting as much as you can.
4) Plan your day
Getting to the start line itself can be incredibly stressful. The options are slim with all the road closures, so you’re most likely going to head for the tube. Staying at a hotel the night before is the best option, then plan backwards from the time you want to arrive at the start line.
Top tip: Get your bag packed the night before so there is no last minute panic.
5) Plan your nutrition
You’ll get through 26.2 miles and roughly 2600kcal for the London Marathon. The total calories will vary per person but it’s a huge amount of calorie expenditure. There are feed stations on the way but what you eat and drink before the race can make a huge difference as well.
Ensure you are properly fuelled in the days before the event by eating a combination of high and low GI carbohydrates. Just eating plates of pasta can make you feel lethargic and heavy, particularly if it’s not part of your usual diet.
Make sure you eat a balanced diet of lean meats, vegetable and carbohydrates in the run up to the London marathon. Avoid high fat foods where possible (avocado – good, deep fried chicken wing – bad).
On the day, make sure you take in plenty of electrolytes before and throughout the race. Staying hydrated is incredibly important to prevent cramp and discomfort.
If you can, take on solid food as your racing to keep your energy levels high. You might find this difficult while you’re running – if you think this might be you then take high calorie drinks as you’re running instead (avoid the fizzy stuff!).
Unfortunately, this is where our assistance halts.
Good luck for the race; trust in your training and keep it simple on race day. We’ll see you at the finish line!