It’s nearly here! The big day when all the blood, sweat, tears and HOURS of training pays off. We know (from experience) that the nerves will be starting to kick in – along with a healthy dose of worrying. Will you be able to run the full distance? Will you hit ‘the wall’? Will your niggling injury be okay? Will the weather be okay? etc. etc. It’s all totally normal and even experienced marathon runners feel the nerves. To help make everything run as smoothly as possible we have put together a list of last minute tips – all to the acronym of LONDON MARATHON (you can’t beat a good acronym 😉). Our motto for a good marathon is be prepared.
Leave nothing to chance. Plan your transportation to the starting line, and home from the finish line. Leave early (just in case there is a delay – we all know what London transport can be like!).
Only eat familiar foods the day before the race.
Nothing new on race day. No new running clothes, shoes or socks!
Don’t get a massage the week before your race. No cross-training even. The best thing to do is be conservative. Save all your energy.
Organise all your gear the night before. Have your bag packed and all your clothes laid out. Even pin your number to your race shirt the night before. You don’t want any distractions or extra tasks on race morning. Pack a spare pair of sandals or shoes for post race. No matter how comfy your running shoes are – after 26.2 miles a different pair of shoes can feel like the greatest thing ever.
Nails. Toe nails. Cut them.
Make the most of the chance to eat carbs! Go crazy for the week leading up to the marathon.
At least 8 hours sleep each night for the week leading up to the marathon (well try). Chances are the night before the race you won’t get the best night’s sleep. If you have slept well the previous nights then this doesn’t matter.
Run slow when you start out! You need to pace yourself. It is so easy to start out too fast (learn from our errors). Your body will thank you when you get to the last 6 miles.
Apply vaseline to any areas that are likely to chaff during the race. Think underarms, inner thigh, groin, toes, small of the back and nipples (yes really). Your skin will thank you for this once you are running.
Take an old jumper (and hat and gloves if it is cold) to wear and discard before the race. It is so important to stay warm before the race.
Have fun! Easy to say when you are not the one running, but the whole experience of the marathon (especially the London one) is amazing! People will be shouting your name and words of encouragement; there will be live music. It really is an awe inspiring event and if you can – enjoy it.
Organise a place to meet your friends and family post race. Mobile phone reception can be dodgy after the race. Also make sure you eat something small (around 200 – 300 calories) within the first 30 minutes of finishing.
Next day will be painful. It is totally normal to feel sore! It takes up to two weeks to fully recover and walking down the stairs backwards is very common as your quads don’t want to bend (we did it for at least 2 days!).Wait at least two to six hours after the race to fully stretch and foam roll (light stretches after the race are fine). This allows your muscles time to replenish fluids and energy lost and recover from the demands of the race. Book a post run massage (but not until 24 hours after your run) – you deserve it!
So that’s it (we know there is tons more advice to give but it doesn’t fit in with our acronym 😉). Good luck and run sensibly – and if you need any advise from a physio, pre or post marathon, get in touch.
We will be there on the 22nd April cheering you on.