London Marathon : Final Race Tips

London Marathon Medal

It’s nearly "time for the off" after weeks of training and dedication, training for the London Marathon. Take a look at our tips on managing nerves in the last few days and on how to get the most out of race day.

IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS:

RELAX: You’ve done all the hard work. Now is the time to relax and rest prior to the race.

DON'T TRY TO “CATCH-UP”: Don’t try to fit in last-minute or missed training sessions, your body doesn’t have time to adapt to the training and you’ll just start the race tired. The important thing now is to get to the start line fresh and relaxed.

EAT WELL: It is important to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Eat a carb-based meal on the evening before the race - but don’t go overboard and binge on carbs in the last week - you’ll just feel bloated and heavy.

PREPARE YOUR KIT: Lay your kit out the night before, pin your race number to your shirt, pack your kit bag. Don’t forget an old jumper/bin bag to keep you warm before the start (once you’ve handed in your kit bag), vaseline for those places that tend to rub and toilet paper or tissues never go amiss…

PLAN YOUR ROUTE: Make sure you know how you will get to the start and leave yourself plenty of time. You don’t want to burn precious energy panicking about getting to the start on time or in a sprint to get to the start line!

RACE DAY:

RELAX (AGAIN!): Don’t worry if you don’t sleep well the night before the race, pre-race nerves are pretty common. The important thing is to have slept well in the days leading up to the race.

NOTHING NEW: Do NOT be tempted to try out something new on race day. This includes everything from new race kit and shoes to breakfast before the race. Do what you have tried and tested on your long runs in training.

TRACKER APP: London Marathon will publish a runner tracker app on their website the day of the race. Make sure you tell your friends and family how to track your progress live via the site!

THE RACE:

PACE IT: The crowds are amazing at London, you’ll be high-fived and cheered on from the first moment to the last. Enjoy it, but don’t get too taken up by the party atmosphere, remember the race is long and you need to keep some energy back for the finish.

Don’t listen either to the voice that tells you that you feel great at mile 8 or 9 so you can up your marathon pace. Keep to your planned marathon pace – (If you’re not sure what your marathon pace should be, enter a recent race result into our pace tool – note: the tool assumes that you have done the relevant training for your target distance). If you pace yourself well, towards the end of the race you’ll be overtaking a lot of the people who overtook you in those enthusiastic early miles.
Don’t be a slave to your gps watch, by now you should have a good feel for your marathon pace, so try to relax into it.

CHECK: Use the mile or km markers as a reminder to do a mental check of your running form.
DRINK: Grab something to drink something at every drink station (energy drinks only if you have tried them in training!)

ENJOY: Try to enjoy every moment of the race, even when it gets difficult. A marathon is a challenging, unique experience that only a minority of people get to experience. At London the crowd will definitely be with you every step of the way.

WHAT NEXT? Even if you swear you’ll never run again, it will probably only be a few hours before you’re already looking for your next race. So don’t forget to check out our events calendar and packages for Venice and Florence marathons.

       

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