With just over a week to go until this year's London Marathon Nick Anderson, Saucony UK coach, gives us his advice to help you get the best out of yourself. With over 25 years running experience, Nick is a graduate in Science & Management of Health & Fitness, a UKA level 4 endurance coach, a qualified nutritionist and sports therapy practitioner. He can be found on Twitter and Instagram @RunningWithUs
With one week to go:
- Don’t taper too much… yes, you can have too many rest days and then feel sluggish by race day.
- Don’t chase time or worry about the GPS stats, just run easy and keep relaxed.
- If you feel strong then consider a light session on the Tuesday; for example 30 minutes including 3 x 5 mins at threshold or your marathon pace with a 2 minute jog as recovery. You are just keeping your legs used to a little pace and feeling faster.
Nutrition – getting it right in the last week:
- Your body needs the quality calories to keep your glycogen (carbohydrate stores) topped up so you feel great in training and on race day.
- Eat your normal pre-race or pre-long run breakfast. Don’t suddenly change what has worked so well for you in training.
- Don’t stuff yourself silly on the night before the race; it will only leave you feeling sluggish on race day.
In the final 24 hours:
- Consider a light 15-20 minute jog in the morning the day before the race to help ease tension and to warm up before stretching.
- Snack on small meals throughout the day and stay well hydrated.
- Eat your last main meal at 6-7pm and snack on easily digested carbohydrate snacks afterwards if needed.
On race day:
- Keep your kit simple and wear the shoes you ran your last few long runs or half marathons in and make sure any clothing has been worn and washed a few times before you race in it – don’t try anything new.
- Take a carbohydrate-based snack (for example a banana or energy bar) and sports drink to snack on between breakfast and the race start and be prepared with fuel in case of a delayed start.
- Sip your final mouthfuls of water/sports drink but don’t take on more than normal, you don’t need it.
Your race strategy:
- As the gun goes, count to 10 and slow down if you are on a faster start. You really need to ease into your race day pace in the first few kms rather than running too quickly.
- Definitely don’t try to bank faster miles and get ahead of the schedule. This is a sure way to guarantee hitting the wall in the final third of the race and you are using up those carbohydrate stores too quickly.
Good luck on race day everybody!