We’re back with part 2 of our 3 part marathon series with Runna.

With just over 2 weeks to go until the London Marathon, you will likely be thinking about nothing but getting to the start line. It’s not surprising when you’ve put this much work in!

By this point, you’ve likely been training for this event for the past 8-16 weeks and have worked so hard. Firstly, well done for getting to this point! We all know it has not been easy, so fair play to you for all of the effort you have put in so far!

The GOLDEN rule that you have probably heard 1000 times before is:

don’t do anything different or change anything on race day‘.

From shoes to a new outfit, to breakfast, to fuel within your runs. Stick to what you know! 

​With that in mind, the experts at Runna have compiled 8 tried and tested tips to help you best prepare for your race. All you need to worry about is putting one foot in front of the other and getting to that finish line!

1. Get ready the night before

Lay out all of your kit the night before. Make sure you have worn all of your kit previously on long runs so you know that it won’t cause you any discomfort on the day. Get your mid-run fuel ready and pin your bib onto your top. 

Races normally mean early starts, so by doing this, you will feel organised the night before and won’t need to worry about anything apart from putting it on the next morning. 

2. Food, food, food

This is different for everyone, and you will only find out what is best for you by trial (and sometimes error!). 

This does not, however just mean sitting down to a massive bowl of pasta the night before your race, as this will not make you feel energised on the day. Over the course of the week, you should eat roughly the same amount of calories as you would normally consume; you just need to increase the proportion of carbohydrates on your plate for each meal to ensure your muscles are fuelled for the day. 

On the morning of your race, ensure you have breakfast that you are used to and that you have had before one of your longer training runs. Some ideas could be porridge (a runner’s favourite), a bagel with a banana and peanut butter or some toast.

3. Plan your route to the start line and arrive early

Ensure you know how you are going to get to your start line before the race. Again, this will limit any stress on the morning of the race. Bear in mind that some transport links may be busier than usual. Some roads near the course itself may even be closed.

Get to the start line early so you can queue for that last-minute nervous bathroom visit and do a warm-up. You don’t want to be running to that start line. 

4. Bring old clothes or a bin bag

Normally, there is a wait between your starting pen and crossing the line. It is essential that you don’t get too cold in this time. 

We recommend you wear some old clothes that you can donate to charity at the start line – most races do this now, or a bin bag to insulate your body heat. 

5. Make sure you warm up 

A very important part of the race day is to make sure your muscles are sufficiently warm before starting any hard effort. Warming up increases the blood flow and oxygen to the muscles to help you perform at your best. If you have a warm-up you like from training then stick to this! Another suggestion is a short and slow jog, followed by some dynamic stretching and 3-4 strides; these are short periods of fast running to increase the heart rate.

  6. Hydrate but don’t overdo it

It is important to stay hydrated, but try to stop drinking about 30 minutes before you start, unless it is particularly hot. You don’t want to be crossing that start line needing the toilet or with a full stomach, as this could cause a little discomfort. 

Given that the London Marathon is in April, chances are that the vast majority of your training will be carried out during the chilly winter months. However, the end of April can see some sunny spring days, which are far warmer than you are used to. 2018 was a key example of this. Runners experienced temperatures of 24.1C – the hottest on record for the race!

Don’t get caught out by this and ensure you sip fluid at regular intervals throughout the race.

7. Don’t go out too hard

Adrenaline on the start line will take over your body more than you think! 

It is important you stick to your race plan and don’t go out too fast, no matter how good you feel. Especially if the race is a long one, you want to start steady and stay even! This will make the race far more enjoyable too.

If you are feeling good towards the end, you can always push the pace to leave everything on the roads! 

8. Use the Runna App on race day

Given the level of support Runna provides, it is unsurprising that they are even there for you on race day. They will continue to guide you until you’re over the finish line. 

Your Runna plan will have suggested paces which should be ideal for you, based on the training you have done.

If you use audio cues during your training, you can expect to receive the same audio cues on race day as you do during your regular guided runs.

Lastly, ENJOY it. You have put countless hours on and off the pavement into prepping for this race. Now is your time to bring it all together. It’ll be over before you know it…and you might be looking for your next race sooner than you think!

Part 3 coming soon and for more on FFF’s experience using Runna, check out our blog here.

Feeling inspired to lace up your trainers? Runna is your personalised running coach with tailored plans to achieve your goals, from training for a faster 5k to your first marathon – they’ve got you covered. Download Runna today to claim your two weeks of free coaching to help you reach your next running goal with code: FRESHFITNESS. Get started here and thank us later!

Need a plan to support your running regime – get involved. Get £50 off a 5-day trial with code: BLOG50. Start your trial here! Order today and start smashing your goals with personalised nutrition!

Fresh Fitness Food provides personalised meal plans delivered straight to your door, ensuring not only that you have the nutrients you need to manage your stress levels, but also that you have the time usually spent shopping, cooking and washing up, to engage in your favourite stress-reducing activity.

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