HOW TO SUCCEED AT LONDON MARATHON, AND ENJOY DOING IT!
With just under two months to go until the London Marathon, training and preparations will be well underway. After the difficult past 18 months and the cancellation of the mass participation event last year due to the pandemic, runners will be wanting to make a strong comeback this time around and it got us thinking about all the things needed to be prepared for the big stage.
Compete PR’s Sam Begg is taking on this year’s London Marathon and has given his top tips for on the day:
Make sure you’re properly hydrated and fuelled before you start
Make sure you’ve had a good, carbohydrate loaded dinner the night before the race (rice, pasta or even pizza are great options!) and ensure that you’re constantly sipping on a water or electrolyte drink in the 24 hours ahead of the race. That being said, don’t drink too much – you don’t want to spend the whole run searching for the closest toilet.
Don’t try anything new on race day
Whether that’s a new pair of trainers, new socks or even some fancy new gels that you bought at the expo, make sure you don’t use anything for a marathon that you haven’t tested in training beforehand. 26.2 miles is a long way to run with something you haven’t rigorously used before.
Don’t forget to take in the sights!
When you focus on racing around the streets of London, it can be easy to forget that this is one of the only days you’re able to take in the sights of London from completely closed roads. Enjoy the experience, in particular running over Tower Bridge, around Cutty Sark and down the Mall.
Start off slower than you plan to run
Typically over 90% of London Marathon runners run their first 5k as the speediest portion of their race. This can make for a deeply uncomfortable finish! Have a plan for your pacing strategy, and stick to it. It’s easy to get carried away or competitive when surrounded by 40,000 other runners, but you’ll be the one smiling when you fly past everyone else towards the end of the race.
Top 5 pieces of kit you need to be prepared for the London Marathon
The annual running event is in its 41st year with this year expected to be the biggest marathon ever staged, with 100,000 runners scheduled to take part on Sunday 3 October. We have collated some of the best running gear to help you cross the finish line in the best shape and time as possible. A lot of people will be completing the race virtually this year, with covid restrictions preventing some international runners being able to attend the actual event. Without the benefits of on course support, water and nutrition, it’s important that you have alternatives at hand.
Sundried Hydration Backpack – RRP £22
Given the importance of hydration and fuelling for such a long run, with Sundried’s Hydration Backpack you can carry water and nutrition to help you stay active and hydrated all day long. This backpack ensures maximum comfort to be worn for over 26 miles and there is also a pocket to store hydration packs.
SiS Beta Fuel – RRP varies per product
This newly developed nutrition range, specifically aimed for those in endurance sports, allows athletes to use up to 17% more carbohydrate. With this fuel range allowing you to absorb up to 90g of carbohydrate per hour it is a perfect fuel for those runners who need that extra bit of a push towards the finish line. The range is available as energy drink powder, gels (including gels with nootropics for improved cognitive function) or chew bars.
361 Meraki 4 – RRP £125
A neutral trainer, the Meraki 4 builds on 361°’s most popular shoe, to allow you to run ‘faster for longer’. It offers strong performance over longer distances, yet is a versatile shoe for many different running styles and abilities. This is a perfect, low-cost shoe for maximum comfort and stability over long distances and may even help you reach your marathon PB.
CEP Run Compression Socks 3.0 – RRP £44.95
A must have for this season’s runners – offering a precise compression profile that gradually decreases up the leg ensuring an optimum supply of nutrients to accelerate recovery effects. The socks wrap around your feet and calves like a second skin to prevent rubbing and blisters from forming. They also provide proprioceptive foot and ankle stabilisation, preventing injuries.
INCUS NOVA | Run Bundle – RRP £199.99
A small wearable device worn on the spine as opposed to an extremity, which offers it a unique whole-body picture of the movements involved in endurance sports training. It is unobtrusive, wireless and offers an unrivalled number of metrics to support your training and performance(s) goals, ensuring your running form and pace will finish the marathon as strongly as it started.
Follow Sam’s training for the big day via his Strava account: https://www.strava.com/athletes/999452
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