Your Marathon Race Day Diary – 2 days to go
1. Plan ahead and download all your needed info
By now you should have your accommodation sorted so plan how you will get to the start. The morning of the marathon is very busy with the thousands of runners and spectators trying to get to the start. There is nothing worse than arriving all stressed so make sure you allow lots of extra time to absorb any unforeseen eventualities. Check the travel news, TFL website and TFL twitter the day before and on the morning so that you can be prepared for any potential delays. Download all those apps you need now.
Helpful tips are on the race website so have a Plan A and B for travel just in case! https://www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com/en-gb/event-info/runner-info/
2. Pack up your Marathon Race kit bag
Pack your kit bag a couple of days in advance and recheck it the day before the race. It can be useful to write a list prior to packing so that you ensure you have remembered everything. You don’t want to risk forgetting your lucky socks!
Don’t forget personal care items such as petroleum jelly to protect chaffing of the thighs and nipples and those important toes and heels!
3. Friday & Saturday – meal planning prior to race day
Let’s check your carbs consumption prior to the race day. Rather than having one great carb binge the day before the marathon, you should have increased the amount of carbohydrate in your diet in the 5 days leading up to the start. Although remember to only increase the percentage of your total number of calories consumed as carbohydrate, don’t be tempted to over indulge and eat in excess of your daily calories.
It is wise not to vary your diet now. Stick with what you know, do not experiment with any new foods as you do not know how your body will react.
Consume your largest meal on Friday to avoid stuffing yourself with pasta on the last night only to end up bloated and lethargic ahead of the race.
For these two days avoid foods too high in fibre, instead go for mostly bland white coloured foods such as white rice, oats, and potatoes (sweet and white) together with some lean protein such as fish or chicken.
4. Saturday, pre-Marathon hydration
The day before the race, stay hydrated and try and stay off your feet. Carry round a water bottle with you all day to remind you to drink regularly. If you’re full of nervous energy head out for a short 15 minute run. Try some drills such as heel flicks, high knees, fast feet to keep with nervous system primed.
5. Marathon Mental Strategies
What’s you’re mantra? Having some mental strategies, such as establishing a mantra which you can repeat to yourself in times of darkness will help you through that second half of the race. ‘Faster, fitter, stronger…’. Visualise yourself successfully crossing the finishing line with a huge smile on your face and tucking into a well-deserved post marathon feast with friends and family.
6. Get to the Marathon venue with time to sort the necessaries out
Make sure you allow enough time at the start to queue for the portaloos, and when you’ve been, queue again! There is nothing worse than being in the start pen busting for the loo. Whilst in the queue you can attach your race number, timing chip, apply lubricant (don’t forget the nipples fellas!) and make sure you’ve got all of your gels/headphone etc with you ready to race.
7. Do not get complacent in the first half of the race
The first half will feel relatively easy as your body is accustomed to running up to 18 miles so it is very easy to get caught up in the atmosphere and go out too quickly. Go out conservatively, even though you may feel like everyone is overtaking you. This will enable you to maintain fuel for later in the race when you need it most. If you couldn’t hold a conversation with the person next to you, you’ve gone out too fast, so SLOW DOWN! It will pay dividends later in the race and you over take all of those who started off too quick. You can always pick your pace up in the second half of the race, but be cautious about increasing it before that 18 mile mark.
Book your post marathon massage
Need some post-run physical therapy? Get 50% off single massage & physio sessions until the end of April. No code required, simply present your medal or race number when you pay and you will get your session half price!
*T&Cs apply. Offer expires on 30th April, 2018. Valid on appointments until 14th May. Discount will be applied when you pay at FOH,
Photo credit: British Lung Foundation at the London Marathon 2016 by Brendan Foster Photography.