Our London Marathon Checklist: 24 Hours To Go (PS. Good Luck John & Dorota!)

We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled on the Virgin London Marathon this Sunday as a current personal training client, John and former client, Dorota are both running. Here’s some background on their story and a sneak peek at their 24 hour checklist.

It’s John’s first full marathon after completing the Hackney Half Marathon last year, he truly got the running bug. Aiming for sub 4 hours 30mins (a target we agreed on after much discussion!) John will be running for Marie Curie charity and he’s raised £500 so far. We’ve had our last training session and John started tapering down 3 weeks ago, he’s ready!

Dorota is doing a mix of running and walking with a sole aim of getting round in one piece! She’s running for Mind charity.

From trimming your toenails to visualisation techniques, here’s some advice prepared by Daigo that we’ve given to them both – those final few hours before race day are crucial.

London Marathon Checklist
24 Hours To Go Checklist: Good Luck To Our Hackney Personal Training Clients John and Dorota!

LonDON MaRathon CHECKLIST: 24 Hours to go

Follow these tips to make sure you avoid making mistakes that might cost you valuable time or cause discomfort during your Marathon.

Eat Plenty of Carbohydrates

You should be eating about 65% of your calories from good carbs in the days leading up to your race. Don’t stuff yourself full at dinner the night before though! Carbo-loading does not mean that you should eat three plates of pasta for dinner, just a bit extra than normal, say 25-35%, as they like to say, “too much ‘loading’ can lead to ‘unloading’ during the race!”

Avoid Any Unusual Foods

Please stick with foods that have worked well for you before your long training runs or walks, don’t try anything new or unusual e.g. eating at a restaurant the night before!

Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water throughout the day. If you’re hydrating properly, your urine should be light yellow. You can also have a sports drink, to make sure you’re getting some extra electrolytes. Avoid alcoholic beverages because they have a dehydrating effect, plus they’ll interfere with your sleep. It’s not a good idea to run with a hangover!

Don’t Overdo It

Stay off your feet, rest and relax the day before. Spending too much time on your feet the day before will tire you out. You’re not going to lose any fitness by resting the day before your marathon. But if you get pre-race anxiety, or you feel like you need to stay loose, it might be beneficial for you to do a very slow, 30-minute walk the day before. Whatever you do, make sure that you don’t do a significant walk that’s going to leave you feeling tired or sore the next day.

Make Sure Your Toenails are Trimmed

Check your toenails and clip any that are too long. Keeping your toenails neat and short will prevent them from hitting the front of your shoes, which can lead to bloody or black toenails.

Get Your Clothing and Gear Ready

Lay out all your clothing and gear for the race the night before. Essential items are:

• Race bib (number) and safety pins
• Training outfit, hat, shoes and socks
• Wristwatch
• Your race fuels e.g. banana, malt loaf, jelly beans – btw you must have ate and trained with them before though!
• Some plasters / petroleum jelly just in case of blisters
• Sunscreen

Stay Relaxed

Use visualisation techniques while you’re relaxing during the day. Envision yourself on the course. Think positively about all the work you’ve put into your training.

Plan Breakfast

Make sure you have everything you need for breakfast. Don’t assume that you’ll be able to get certain foods at the race start — it’s better to be prepared and know you already have your food with you. Again, you should ONLY be eating breakfast foods that you tried out before your long training walks.

Review the course map

You probably received a copy of the course map in your race packet. (If not, you could always look on the race website.) Even if you’ve already looked at the map (including the elevation map), review it one more time so you’ll know what to expect. It’s always good to know where you’ll hit some hills and how frequent the water stops are.