Ten tips for getting to the start line ready to roll out your best marathon performance

Swansea start

runbritain suggest some useful advice ahead of this year’s marathon. It may be London, but it could be many other events too as these are generic tips. Carpe diem.  

1. Get to know the course. Familiarise yourself with the route so that you know when to push yourself and when you need to ease off the gas. This will help ensure you run the race well from start to finish. The London Course and profile is here.

2.       Get ready the night before. Lay out your gear and get as much sleep as possible – aim for the recommended eight hours.

3.       Get there early. It is vital that you give yourself time to warm up and get yourself comfortable with your surroundings, remember in warm conditions your warm up may be reduced as you will be starting warmer than usual anyway.  

4.       Hydrate!! It is very important to hydrate before and during the race – water is ideal but drinking energy drinks that contain electrolytes throughout the race will help keep your body balanced when you sweat. Aim for 50-120ml every 15 -30 minutes and start taking sips soon after the start.

5.       A nutrition strategy is key to maintain your energy levels. Eat a meal that is high in carbohydrates prior to the race. Energy gels and drinks will help keep your glycogen levels high during the race. You should incorporate these into your training regime to get used to using them as they will make a big difference to your performance on the day.

6.       Practise running in the kit and the shoes that you are going to use on the day. It is important to wear-in new shoes to avoid rubbing and blisters, and if you have a blister to tape it up properly before the race. You can also prevent problems by covering areas you think might blister. (Zinc oxide tape or anti blister patches may be the thing, but these should be tried prior to race day). A 10 min jog in race kit the day before usually covers this, if you've left it late. 

7.       In terms of gadgets, a sports watch is a must! They can help to check your pace and give you a heart rate monitor to work out how hard the effort level is. See the Strava pace calculator here.

 8.       Bring support. Knowing that someone is cheering you on will give you a real boost and keep you motivated. It is also nice to have someone there to share the moment you cross the finish line!

 9.       Having your name on your running top is valuable so that people other than family and friends can shout from the sidelines and spur you on!

 10.   Enjoy it!  Whether or not you reach your target time or beat your PB, running is to be enjoyed. Be happy and proud that you finished the race. 

London Marathon information for runners