London Marathon Tips:
With only one week to go until the big event, these are some of the crucial tips you will need to ensure your first London Marathon is a success.
During the weeks and months building up to the London Marathon your focus has likely been mainly on the physical side of training. At this stage, it is worth preparing for the fact that the day itself will be a psychological and emotional, as well as, a physical challenge.
The London Marathon 2022– the psychological bit:
Tip 1 : Reflect on what you had achieved until now
The psychological aspect is often overlooked. Whilst you are no doubt nervous about how the day of the London Marathon may go, it is worth taking time out to reflect on how much you have achieved so far. If you have made all the sacrifices to train regularly (despite the weather) and you have managed to fit in at least one or two long runs, you are already a long way down the road to achieving your goal. And, if you have stayed injury free as well, then that is a great achievement in itself.
Tip 2 : Set flexible goals
If you have come this far, you no doubt have started plotting what sort of time you would like to finish in. Depending on your personality, this will either be a rigid goal or a ‘nice to have’. I strongly urge you to be flexible in your goals.
It certainly helps to focus the mind if you have a time in mind. However, there are a lot of factors that can affect the performance on the day. One of the single biggest factors is the weather. The weather on the 2nd of October will be 18C according to accuweather. If, on the day, the temperature gets over 20 degrees Celsius (and especially if it gets nearer 25 degrees) this will have a big impact on your time. As an example, I would expect someone targeting a 4 hour finish to revise that estimate to at least 4 and a 1/2 hours in that type of heat.
So my first and most important tip is to set flexible goals. Give yourself some slack for different circumstances, and it will allow you to stay focused and motivated on the day.
London Marathon Tips – the emotional bit:
Often the most over-riding emotion coming into your first marathon is anxiety. How will you perform? Will you finish? Will you remember everything?
Tip 3 : Conserve mental energy
During the week before the Marathon it is essential to conserve as much energy as possible (mental as well as physical). To help settle your nerves keep two things in mind.
- Firstly, remember all the time and effort you have put into preparation up to now.
- Secondly, remind yourself that 100s of 1000s of people from all walks of life have completed Marathons. It is a huge challenge. But if they can do it, you can do it!
Tip 4 : Planning and preparation
The most essential element to keeping your nerves in check though is through proper planning and preparation. It is definitely worth making sure you have your checklists ready for kit, refreshments and travel. If it is written down it is one less thing to think about.
Complete your registration before the Marathon
My biggest tip on staying calm is to get your registration done as early as you can. Registration starts a few days before the London Marathon – so if you can get along then, I would strongly advise it.
London Marathon Tips
London Marathon Tips – the physical bit:
Tip 5 : Save energy for the day
For the last week before the London Marathon the key word is rest. In terms of running volume, you should look to half the amount of running you did in the previous week. This week is crucial for building up glycogen stores, so it is vital that you are not tempted to overdo it.
When you are not running, stay off your feet as much as you can. Try and do everything at a sedate pace and conserve as much energy as possible. If you find yourself with some free time because you have cut back the running, use it to stretch.
Tip 6 : Do your stretches
The stretches the week before the marathon should be longish (45 to 60 seconds), as regular as possible (2 or 3 times a day if possible), and comfortable (not overly rigorous). Be sure to stretch the following areas; calf, hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, the IT band, lower back, neck and chest.
Tip 7: -Nutrition is important
There is a world of advise on nutrition out there, but my top tip is to keep it simple. If you have been tempted by carbo-loading, but have never tried it before, I would advise not to risk it. You do need more carbohydrate (recommended 8-10g of carbohydrate per kg of body weight) for 2 or 3 days prior to the Marathon, BUT don’t go overboard. You need to increase the carbohydrate, but not gorge on it.
Tip 8: Take care or your health
Be sure to look after your general health too. You don’t want to pick up a Covid or any other virus at this stage so keep stocked up on Vitamin C. Also, use a face mask in over crowded places and hand sanitizers before and after traveling on public transport.
Tip 9: Don’t forget your toenails
And as a final insider tip, don’t forget to cut your toenails about 3 or 4 days before the run!
I hope you have enjoyed this weeks London Marathon Tips … next blog we will discuss final day preparations and race management. If you have any questions about our treatments, please contact us. You can find us 3 mins away from Angel station in Islington. If you like this blog, please share!
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