Apr 12 2013

Marathon Training – Top Race Day Tips

We hope you have enjoyed reading our marathon blog on the lead up to this years London Marathon! Since the big day is almost upon us, here is our last entry with some vital tips for race day – don’t line up on that start line before you’ve read this!…

Marathon training

We hope you have enjoyed reading our marathon blog on the lead up to this years London Marathon!

Since the big day is almost upon us, here is our last entry with some vital tips for race day – don’t line up on that start line before you’ve read this!

We hope you’ve enjoyed following us through your marathon journey – sign in again for triathlon training in a few months time and please email us back and tell us about your marathon experience!

The hard work is done, the finish line is (nearly!) in sight – just a few small hurdles stand in the way of you and your London Marathon medal.

I was going to share with you some special tips and tricks to help get you through race day in one piece. But, to be completely truthful, there are no tricks, and the simpler you can keep your race preparation, the better your result will be.

The best piece of advice I can give you is simply don’t change too much. Eat the same breakfast as you have been eating before your training runs, leave the same amount of time between breakfast and your run if you can. Drink the same amount of water and wear the same shoes. Don’t wear brand new kit you haven’t tried and tested (and men – beware the nipples on the charity vests, make sure you use some Vaseline!)

Notice a pattern? It’s really not that complicated! Just stick with what you know and the rest will flow from there. So here’s a few specifics on questions I have been asked.

When/How and What do I drink?

A few people have asked me about drinking on the day; now in recent years, many poor souls have hit the headlines in the newspapers with cases of exercise-associated hyponatraemia (a potentially fatal condition in which blood levels of sodium are dangerously diluted as a result of too much water) However, this is not something to panic about, as long as you remain sensible. Dr Ross Tucker, an exercise physiologist and consultant scientist to the Sports Science Institute of South Africa says “Our bodies are adapted to lose fluid. They had to be when our survival depended on running to hunt, when we would often be unable to drink. Humans are delayed drinkers. We tolerate fluid loss really well, and we can drink later.” Drink little and often from early on in the race and you will be fine, and the isotonics will help replenish your energy levels as well as hydrating you.

Do I need to take the gels because they taste horrible?!

You don’t, but you do need a way of replenishing your energy/sugar levels in your body otherwise you may well find yourself coming up against the dreaded “wall”. If you don’t want to take the gels, find an alternative – runners jelly beans, jelly babies or any of your favourite sweets will do the job just as well.

What do I wear?

You can never predict the weather in good old London so be prepared. Take some old clothes with you to the start line to help keep you warm, and wear them until a couple of minutes before the off. Just throw them to the side of the road.

What’s the Deal on Carb Loading?

Your body can only store enough glycogen (energy) to sustain 90 minutes of exercise. After this point, without sufficient extra fueling you’re in danger of running out of energy. Increasing your carb intake three days before the race will help make sure you reach the start line with maximum energy available to run at your best.

To reach your carbohydrate target, try to eat little and often rather than just super-sizing your usual meals. Eating five or six smaller meals is much more palatable than stuffing yourself only to feel queasy and lethargic. It’s also worth remembering that it isn’t necessary to radically increase your daily calorie intake as a whole – it’s simply about increasing the proportion of carbs on your plate.

Meals that are high in carbohydrate include:

  • Wholegrain bread with peanut butter
  • Large bowl of porridge or cereal with milk
  • Large bowl of spaghetti bolognese or chilli con carne with rice
  • Grilled chicken, sweet potato fries and broccoli

Should I still eat protein? Another simple answer. Yes

Guys, this brings us to the end of our marathon blog series. All that remains to be said is good luck and have fun! The London Marathon is the best marathon in the world and there will be hundreds of thousands of people cheering you towards your goals!

Please email me at becs@salecca.co.uk if you’d like any more of your race day questions answered and we hope to see you back here after the summer when we will be talking about triathlon training!

Train Hard, Train Right

marathon personal training

Becs Cronshaw FST1 iTS BCT
Director Salecca  Ltd.
Office: (+44) 208 1665110