Marathon running tips

Marathon Running Tips



Are you running the London Marathon on Sunday 3rd October?

Whether this is your very first marathon, or you’re an experienced pro, your final preparations can make all the difference on race day.

Here are our top tips for marathon success from Sports Medicine Consultants, Dr Brinda Christopher and Dr Kal Parmar.


1) Plan your journey to the start, so it’s as stress-free as possible.

Make sure you’ve also mapped out how you’ll be getting home after the race, and where you’ll be meeting friends or family.

Prepare your post-race kit bag with some warm clothes, pop on the label with your bib number, and hand it in to the team at the Virgin Money London Marathon Running Show, at ExCel.

Don’t be tempted to buy new kit, new gels, or try new trainers – stick with what’s tried and trusted.

This year there won’t be any lorries for bags at the start, so wear an old layer of clothes that you’re happy to leave to charity or dispose of.



2) Make sure you get a good night’s sleep on Friday 1st of October.

Starting the race rested and relaxed is very important, but as runners who want to do our best, we can often feel a little nervous or excited the night before. Make sure you at least get a great night’s sleep on Friday the 1st, and leave any sight-seeing and late evenings until after the race.



3) Keep to the familiar foods that you’ve trained with.

For your pre-marathon breakfast, remember to eat some slow-burn carbs, such as porridge with banana and berries, but make sure it’s something you’d typically eat during training. A hotel full-English fry-up may leave you standing in the loo queue.



4) Run the race you intended to run.

The marathon has an amazing atmosphere, and it can be tempting to sprint off at a pace that’s unsustainable, particularly during the first few kilometers of the race which have a few downhill sections.

Everyone will be moving off slowly as the race begins, so avoid the temptation to endlessly weave in and around people, as you’ll simply wasting energy. Stick to your race plan and your race pace.



5) Know where you'll drink and fuel.

Familiarise yourself with the locations of the drink stations, and plan where and when you may want to take on board some energy gels. Keep to your plan and remember you don’t have to eat everything that’s offered to you!



6) Remember to enjoy yourself!

Visualise yourself having the best run of your life, and even if your race doesn’t entirely go as planned, embrace the experience and the atmosphere, and congratulate yourself on all those diligent hours you put into training.


If you're struggling with a running injury, or need help to recover after your marathon, do book an appointment with one of our highly experienced, LIPS Sport and Exercise Medicine Consultants.