Whether you're a well-seasoned pavement plodder or are training for your first big race, our marathon and haf-marathon tips give you all the insider knowledge you need to make sure your race-day is one to remember (for all the right reasons!)
Here are some general tips for you:
Plan your travel to the start line and don't be late. Due to the number of people taking part it will take longer to get around. Give yourself plenty of time so that you avoid the stress of rushing.
Familiarise yourself as much as possible with the route prior to the race. Check YouTube to see if there are any videos uploaded from the race from a previous year to assist you.
Make sure your name is on your running vest. Strangers cheering your name will give you the boost you need, especially during that last painful mile.
Don’t worry if you don’t sleep that well the night before. It will be normal to be nervous and full of adrenaline. Just make sure you get plenty of rest in the week leading up to the race. Be prepared to clear your social calendar, as the more rest you get the better.
Research a good nutrition programme, not just for training but also for before and after the race. Pick a diet that works for you and stick to it.
Take some food in your dropped bag for after the race. You will be hungry and as it will be very crowded it will be difficult to buy food.
Get a good music playlist together. It will help you stay focused during the race.
Get some proper running shoes that are comfortable and suit your style of running. This doesn’t necessarily mean buying the most expensive trainers. Be sure to break the shoes in for at least two weeks prior to the race.
Make sure your clothing is also comfortable and fits well. Use Vaseline or Bodyglide if you need it to avoid chafing. Definitely do not break in a new outfit on race day!
As the race begins, don’t get carried away. Run at a pace that suits you and stick to your training plan. It’s easy to get carried away, but you really need to run your own race. Don’t get worried about being overtaken, even if it is by a man with a fridge on his back.
You are bound to hit a rough patch or two during the race, so don’t panic when you do. Remember to breathe, trust in your training and count to ten.
Research the best ways to avoid injury. Get yourself a muscle roller and use it as much as possible. If you can tolerate it, having an ice bath after long training session can really help.