The ultimate London Marathon prep

15 April 2018 by
First published: 11 April 2017

Get ready for race day with the ultimate London Marathon prep.

You’ve secured your place and, in the past few months, you’ve been training towards the ultimate goal – that marathon bling. It has not been easy, but ultimately it will be worth it when you cross that finish line. In the countdown to the London Marathon, how can you ensure that you’re totally prepped for the big race? Well, firstly, relax; we’ve pulled together 10 things every marathoner should do for prep. 

Don’t party hard, you can party later

Sleep really is the cure for all evils, and can make or break a race. Make sure you get enough shuteye in the week before the race as there’s nothing worse than turning up feeling shattered with 26.2 miles in front of you. You don’t have to go to bed at 8pm, but do try to get between six to eight hours of sleep. Then you may even have enough energy to celebrate afterwards.

Stick to your routine

The week before the race is not the time to suddenly rediscover your love of circus tricks. Equally, you don’t have to sit on the sofa either. Try and keep your routine as normal as possible to ensure your body is ready on race day.

Don’t stop moving

It can be easy to think the hard work is over and slump on the sofa pre-marathon. You may find, however, a few gentle jogs and training runs combined with yoga will leave you feeling energised not sluggish on marathon day. Take a tip from the pros and do a gentle 15-minute jog the day before. 

You’re feeding for a marathon, not the 5,000

Watch what you eat – and how much. Yes, you need a few extra calories, but that’s not an excuse to gorge on extra thick-crust pizzas with garlic dip on the days before. Keep your diet full of fresh fruit, veg, unrefined carbs, such as brown rice, plus protein. This will help with both digestion and stop you from feeling sluggish.

Drink enough of the right stuff

A glass or two of alcohol the week before won’t hurt, but don’t go overboard. Pay attention to how much water you drink as you want to be properly hydrated for the race.

Wash your hands

It’s easy to say but try and avoid coming into contact with infections that could waylay your plans. Always wash your hands before eating and use a hand sanitiser if you use public transport. 

Be mentally prepared

If you’re aiming to reach your goal, remember that it’s not going to be easy. Take time out to prepare yourself for the infamous ‘wall’ at around mile 20, when you feel that you simply can’t go on. You can and you will. Create your own coping mechanisms to get you through those tough times.

Avoid over ‘EXPO’sure

Don’t get carried away by the bright lights of the marathon expo. You don’t need to visit every store or try every free snack. Make yourself a plan of action and set a time limit so you don’t waste valuable energy in the run-up to the race.

Create a race plan

You’re not always going to have a good race and, put simply, it’s all down to how you feel on the day. Sometimes you have no control over this. What you can do is promise yourself to try your best aided by creating a plan. This could be taking the first few miles easy, tackling the middle section at a faster pace and then pushing through those last tough miles. Focus on what you can do and what’s right for you, and then you will perform at your best.

And smile

One of the best pieces of advice to remember is to RELAX. It’s hard, but if you relax and smile you will be able to control those nerves. Plus, your photos will look way better.

After the big day you’re in serious need of a reward – apart from the medal around your neck, obs! Check out these Three ways to pamper yourself and if you already have an appetite for the next race, try these Races to fill your marathon void.

Nutrition is key for a healthy balance so be sure to check out our Ultimate guide to nutrition for helpful tips and tricks.