London Marathon 2019 – the countdown
It’s time to start putting together the last bits to your plan for London Marathon 2019. At the time of writing, the big day is exactly 6 weeks away.
Now is the time when you will be putting in those long runs. And although you are probably fatigued and short of time, it’s time to start planning for the lead up to, and for the run itself.
You have probably read many of the conventional tips and ideas for the Marathon. We thought we would share a few tips you might not have come across so far.
Your London Marathon Plan – purchases before race day
Tip 1: Invest in a hydration belt
You will know by now that hydration is a huge part of running. There are regular water stations on the marathon course. However, they can get congested and cause you anxiety. With a hydration belt, you are in control. And it gives you somewhere convenient to store your energy gels. It will also come in handy for your remaining long runs.
Hydration belts are very lightweight, and the good ones are very comfortable.
Tip 2: Buy some Vaseline and some tape
You might be surprised what might irritate you when running the marathon. You’ll want to keep distractions to a minimum. If it is hot, you’ll want to keep the sweat out of your eyes. Simply by applying a little Vaseline above the line of the eyebrows, the sweat from your forehead will stay out of your eyes. (Vaseline can also be used to avoid jogger’s nipple).
On the other hand, if it is windy on race day, some tape can be very useful. A pinned race number will flap around and annoy you. Simply by taping your running number to your running vest, you can avoid that distraction.
Tip 3: Download a Mindfulness app.
If you haven’t tried mindfulness, give it a go. It’s a great way to help relieve anxiety before the event. You’ll sleep better too. It’s simple to do. Simply follow the instructions and allow yourself to relax.
London Marathon Plan – before race day
Tip 4: Learn the lyrics to a new song
This one is highly unusual but serves a purpose. Even a couple of verses will do. The idea is to give yourself something to distract you when the going gets tough. Singing to yourself (silently) at miles 22 or 23 could be a novel idea for getting you over the hump.
Tip 5: Schedule in some massage
Modern athletes spend a lot of time on the therapy table. There is a reason for this. A massage is a wonderful form of rehabilitation from strenuous exercise. Your body has taken a hammering during your training. You need to replenish the muscles as much as possible before you reach the start line. So book up some restorative sessions now before the rush starts.
The London Marathon Plan – tips for race day
Tip 6: Be social
Make the day a memorable experience. To help reduce anxiety, chat to fellow runners. Especially in the early miles. (Providing they are ok with it!). It is a good way to monitor your exertion rate too. In the early miles, you should be going slow enough to hold a short conversation.
Tip 7: Look ahead
Try focusing your gaze about 100 feet ahead of you. If you start to look toward your feet, your posture will suffer. And poor posture will hamper your running efficiency. By looking up, it also means you will get to experience more of the event.
Tip 8: Run smart
There are little tricks you can do to beat the weather. If it’s hot, try and find the most shaded parts of the course on the way around. Anything that keeps your body temperature down will help you in the long run. Or if it is windy, run directly behind a small group. Shielding yourself from the wind will help you conserve energy.
Tip 9: Position your friends wisely
The crowd will lift you. And possibly more than you can possibly imagine. But the crowd thins out on certain parts of the course.
Seeing friends or loved ones will give you a special lift. Try and get them to stand away from the main crowd so they are easily seen, and can encourage you when you need it most.
And finally …
Tip 10: Know how you will get much-needed energy
Towards the end of the run, your glycogen levels start to get depleted. That’s why energy gels come in handy at this stage. But they are not to everyone’s taste.
As a more palatable alternative, you can get the extra energy from mashed up bananas. These are easy to digest. Simply put them in a freezer bag, cut off one corner and tape over the open corner. Keep it in your hydration pack as a much-needed reserve store for the last leg of the marathon. Rip off the tape, and you are ready to go.