The London Marathon – Blog Post 4
This is Andrew’s final pre-event blog and he’s been reading up on the do’s and don’ts ahead of the big day on Sunday. Good luck Andrew!
Here we are, 16 weeks of training and the London Marathon has finally arrived! Just in time for a sudden heat-wave to sweep the UK. While it’s awesome skipping spring and heading straight into summer, it’s frankly a bit of a shock to the system after a particularly brutal winter.
It’s the Friday before the marathon and I’ve registered today; which means I have just sampled the atmosphere of the event at the Excel London. Although nothing like the race-day vibe, I admit I had goose-bumps as I walked through the entrance! The buzz inside was amazing and my nervous excitement levels have most definitely been raised.
So…what tips have I gathered regarding preparation for the big day?
What to Wear
It’s forecast to be very warm, and because central London full of thousands of sweaty runners shoulder-to-shoulder is going to make the ‘feels-like’ temperature hotter than hades, I’m going lightweight, breathable, sweat-wicking and non-chafing. The Aussie Grit Apparel run t-shirt and 2-in1 short (with an inner that is close fitting but not tight, meaning it moves with the skin not against), are going to be perfect for me. I’m sticking to my trusty shoes and socks that have seen me through training. Never wear a new pair you haven’t bedded in; blister hell!
The night before race-day is not the time to try a spicy curry or new sushi joint! I’ll be toeing the boring line – sticking to plain, easy carbs, veg, lean meat and water (no celebratory beers until afterwards…). The same goes for breakfast, don’t change your daily routine; this is especially important with a belly full of nerves and a loo-queue. Just remember to hydrate.
The buzz inside was amazing…
Event Hydration / Fuel
Did I mention hydration? It’s basic, but super important (even the pros underestimate the heat and push themselves through dehydration to exhaustion – we saw that at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games with Callum Hawkins). I’ll be wearing my trusty Camelbak run pack with 2l of water, with Torq energy and a couple of High5 tabs dissolved in it for good measure (carbs and electrolytes). I’ve trained with Torg Energy gels too, and plan to take 1 every 8km. They do have fuel and water stops on the course, and I’m sure I’ll top up water (there’s no point trying to carry everything), but from experience and what I’ve read, it’s best not to try new gels or foods for the first time on race day, unless you really need to.
Well, it’s not like training where you can squeeze in a quick ‘panic wee’ before setting off! There’s lots of waiting around and I’ve already mentioned the loo-queues, so all sources say you’ll need to factor that in. If you don’t need a pit-stop, you’re probably not hydrating enough – it’s not a sign of weakness to stop, make time for this. The same goes for stretching. There’s no point running through a niggle that can easily be nipped in the bud by a quick stretch-out.
I can’t wait for Sunday. It may be hot and therefore slower for everyone, but I intend to just enjoy the atmosphere, soak up the music and spectator cheers and simply have as much fun as I can. I guess while I’m at it, I’ll find out how well training off-road two days a week worked!
Good luck to everyone running on Sunday, I’ll see you there.