With the highly anticipated London Marathon quickly approaching, we thought we’d share some helpful pointers. After months of dedication and training leading to this moment – an amazing 26.2 mile route around the capital! – here’s how to make things go as smoothly as possible…
If the last few weeks are anything to go by, the weather can be very unpredictable! Make sure that you prepare for the run with suitable clothing – shoes with sufficient grip, supportive socks, seamless clothing that does not rub, and be sensible with fancy dress!
Do not be tempted to change trainers days before the event. If you have blisters, be careful not to pop them (no matter how tempting) and cover with a protective blister plaster, ensuring no creases.
Drink sufficient amounts of fluids to remain hydrated throughout the run – there will be plenty of water stations around the route. However, do not drink too much too fast as this can cause an imbalance in your sodium and salt levels (potentially causing symptoms of dehydration, which could lead to collapsing and seizures if not treated). Drinking small amounts of a sports drink regularly during your run is suggested best.
The day before a big event, it is always suggested to have a rich carbohydrate diet (bread, rice, pasta, potatoes), giving you slow burning energy to get you through your marathon.
Also, the morning of the event, have plain, slow burning foods (porridge, toast, peanut butter). Do not try anything new, nobody wants an upset stomach on a run!
This can not only help to prevent injury but also aid recovery! It can be easy to get lost in the crowd and atmosphere, but do remember to warm up sufficiently, and stretch before the run. Once you’ve finished, you are likely to experience a quick drop in your body temperature. It is always best to make this as gradual a decline as you can (have a gentle cool down or walk) and use a foil blanket/warm clothing to change into to keep warm.
Cramp is common in a long distance run – especially in hot weather! It is often caused by a build-up of lactic acid within the muscles (mainly calves). A well-structured warm-up before the race to get your body ticking and stretching, as well as maintaining sufficient levels of salts and fluids by keeping well hydrated (sports drinks little and often) are good for preventing this.
It is known that many people suffer with heat exhaustion each year. If you’re feeling symptoms of sickness, dizziness, headaches, or cramps – you may be suffering. This can be fatal, do not push through! Find a shady spot to rest and seek help from a medial professional with regular sips of a sports drink.
With 50,000 amateur and professional athletes set to take the challenge, the support from the crowd is likely to be immense! Don’t forget to soak up the experience, and use the crowd to get you over the finish line!