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London Marathon 2018: Your top tips for race day

All you need to get race day ready for the London Marathon

London Marathon runners
Chloe Best
Lifestyle Features Editor
21 April 2017
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Running the London Marathon on Sunday? Get both your body and mind ready for running 26.2 miles through the capital with these top tips from personal trainer Toby Garbett and sports psychologist Dr Victor Thompson.

Personal trainer Toby Garbett shares his advice…

Fuel up: Eat a carb-rich breakfast at least two hours before your race so that your body has time to digest it. Pack carb snacks like a banana to keep you going until the race begins. It's also crucial to stay hydrated so sip little and often. Try a sweet squash and add a pinch of salt to make your own electrolyte drink if it's a hot day.

London Marathon 2016 crowd© Photo: Getty Images

The 2017 London Marathon takes place on Sunday 23 April

Be realistic: You line up according to the time you expect to finish and while confidence is great to have, being too confident can backfire. While it's true the mass of runners and the encouraging crowd can give you an extra boost, it's better to put yourself in a position where you are passing people instead of them passing you.

STORY: Post-marathon recovery tips

Warm up: Cold muscles will lead to more chance of injury so it's crucial to take the time to do a proper warm up. Do a range of dynamic stretches including leg swings, deep lunges and knee lifts, and don't forget to stretch your arms too. Deep Heat Muscle Massage Roll-on Lotion can help loosen and soften muscles, so incorporate this into your workout.

Sports psychologist, Dr Victor Thompson says:

Break the distance into smaller chunks: A goal to finish can seem like a long way away so have smaller goals along the way so it doesn't seem so daunting. Break the race into miles (e.g., five mile segments: 0-5, 5-10), use landmarks (e.g., to the Cutty Sark, Rotherhithe, Tower Bridge) or time (e.g., 30-minute chunks). This will be extremely important in the last 7-10 miles, as fatigue will be building and the challenges may be increasing.

London Marathon runners© Photo: Getty Images

Prepare for running 26.2 miles with these top marathon day tips

Practice shifting your focus: Spend 100 steps focusing on being light on your feet, landing softly with little jarring or noise (foot slapping), then 100 steps focusing on fast feet with a fast stride turn-over, then 100 steps with a nice long stride, 100 with higher knee lift, 100 with feet rising up towards your glutes, 100 with relaxed upper body. This will help to hold your attention, keep you running efficiently and gobble-up the distance.

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Mile 21: Work out ahead of time what will help you if you hit the wall. For many, this comes around mile-21. Will it help to have a sugar hit, to get some energy in? Stoke those motivational fires by recalling your 'marathon mantra', the reason you are doing this marathon. Would it help to think of those who are encouraging you, lining the street in one continuous line from now to the end shouting encouragement? What would they be saying? Or, would it help to think of the non-believers, to prove to them that you can do it?

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