The miles are done, the long runs logged, the calves stretched and now you’ve got the carbloading fun to come. Here are my London Marathon tips -from someone who’s made the mistakes so that you don’t have to! (In no particular order…sorry).
- Go to the expo with money and patience- it’s huge. Buy what you need and want AFTER collecting your bib. If you’re running the Virgin London Marathon as a one time thing I would really recommend getting some stash, you’ll want to show off your VLM kit in the future!
- Set up all your stuff for Sunday either tonight or tomorrow, the last thing you want to do is scrabble around on Sunday morning!
- Charge your watch, phone, iPod or anything else you’ll want with you on race day. I turned off roaming whilst waiting for the race to start to conserve battery as mine drains really quickly. Delete some data if space is limited on your GPS watch!
- Know in advance where your family and friends are going to be along the route, that way you’ll have something to look forward to and can look out for them. I also have my family text me during the race with their exact location so that we don’t miss each other.
- Go to the loo at every opportunity before you start running. As soon as you get to the start area, get in line for the porta loos. I was in the queue for the loo when the gun went off when I ran the VLM and I didn’t start for another 45 minutes in the very last wave.
- Bring throwaway clothes (and a bin bag) to keep you warm and dry before you start running. It’s supposed to be quite cold on Sunday, so a hat and gloves might be a good idea, ones that you don’t mind chucking after a few miles or passing off to your spectators. It’s better to be too hot and strip off as you run, than not be able to get warm!
- Bring more snacks and fuel than you think you’ll need, you might drop some, or need more energy than usual.
- Make a playlist or ask your friend/loved one to make one for you including some pumping/inspiring music to get you through when times are tough.
- Know that it will be hard, have a mantra to get you through. I shared my favourite Marathon Mantras here.
- Remember you can travel for free on the tube as long as you have your bib on, however if you live at an unmanned station you may have to jump a barrier! Sadly your spectators do still have to pay!
- The official VLM tracker will probably be slow- tell your supporters not to panic if you’re not on time.
- Take a look at the course, mentally break it into manageable sections. For me that’s 5/6 mile chunks, when I also take my gels.
- Lube up. Between your toes, your nipples, armpits, inner thighs. If you think it will chafe, it will.
- Try to enjoy it! Whether it’s your first, your seventh or your twenty first marathon, you’ve worked hard to get to the start line – think of this as your victory lap after months of training!
I’ve pulled together a few other blogger’s London marathon race recaps, they have some useful advice (and some emotion/motivation) on running the 26.2 miles through this great city.
If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be on the left hand side at mile 8- see you on the course!!