5 Last Minute Marathon Tips
With a matter of days left until the London Marathon, we thought we’d ask our Product Development Manager (and serial marathon runner), Emma Barraclough, to offer you some last minute tips that’ll help you get over that finish line this weekend...
Stay hydrated – before the race counts too!
Keeping well hydrated is key, but don’t think this just means during the run. From the day before be really conscious that you’re drinking enough. If your urine is straw coloured that’s about right! Carry a drinking bottle with you at all times, and sip little and often. Having one or two electrolyte tabs during the day helps to ensure you retain the fluid you are taking on board better.
Make sure you eat breakfast
Yes this means you’ll probably need to get up earlier than normal, yes you might be nervous and may not be hungry, but making sure you’ve topped up your glycogen stores after sleep before you start is key in avoiding hitting the dreaded wall around mile 20. Hitting the wall is when you’ve completely depleted your glycogen stores and your blood sugar level is starting to drop, making your legs turn to lead. Taking on gels etc. as you run helps to avoid this, but you’ll still be burning through your stores quicker than you can take energy on board, so starting low is not a good idea.
Vaseline your feet!
To help prevent blisters put a layer of Vaseline on the balls of your feet and around your toes. It will feel a bit odd when you first put your socks on but reducing the friction really helps to protect your skin as you pound mile after mile.
Pack your kit bag wisely
You’ll be dropping off your kit bag at the start to collect at the finish, so make sure you’ve included some nice treats for yourself. Your favourite comfy jeans, a pair of flip slops, a tasty recovery shake and a snack of choice will seem like small victories in themselves when you’re sat in the finish area afterwards, wondering if you’ll ever be able to get back up if you sit down now!
Plan your nutrition for 48 hours after
In the two days after the marathon make sure you eat a good mix of carbohydrate and protein to help your body rebuild itself, and include plenty of fruit and vegetables for those all important antioxidants. Inflammatory markers can be found in the body for weeks after a marathon, so as tempting as it is to treat yourself to plenty of junk food, make sure there’s plenty of good stuff going in too.