Countdown preparation to the London Marathon 2013
Preparation is everything when it comes to running a race – and especially a marathon. As the day looms for the 2013 Virgin London Marathon (April 21), most runners will have already done the toughest part of their training – and will now be “tapering”. But preparation for the big event also includes such details as reading the race day information, making sure you have your favourite running kit washed and ready, affixing your race chip and number and knowing where you need to be, how to get to the start line and at what time.
People travel from across the world to take part in the London Marathon so thousands of runners will be turning up in a city that they do not know. Travel to London and hotel (even if it’s last minute) are key parts of your marathon preparation. If you do not know your way about London make sure you book a hotel that is within easy travel distance of the event start line. If you have time the day before, leave your hotel and make the journey to the start line to see how long it takes. On the event day add at least half an hour to this time to allow for busy trains, buses and streets. A contact has suggested that some hotels, such as the Holiday Inn London – Kensington Forum hotel , offer coach transfers to the start line, which sounds like a good idea.
Registering for London Marathon
You will have received your registration form in the post in March and you must bring this with you to the 2013 Virgin London Marathon Expo along with identification (passport or driving licence) in order to collect your number, timing tag and kit bag.
Preparing the night before a marathon
Lay out all your running clothing and kit so you are sure you have it all ready. If you have travelled to a hotel for the night before, it’s still a good idea to check you have packed all the right kit.
Essential kit includes: Shorts or running tights, running top and/or charity t-shirt, sports bra (for women), socks and used trainers (never run an event in new clothes or trainers).
If you wear a running watch or gadget check that it is fully charged.
Fill in the medical information section on the back of your race number. Pin the number on to your top without folding or covering it.
Now read the instructions for affixing your running chip and secure it in place.
Add energy gels and drinks to the pile.
Make sure you have warmer outer garments to wear to and from the event and know where you can stow them while you race. The kit bag can be left at the start of the race and collected at the end. Attach the accompanying identification sticker.
Run the marathon route “virtually”: A fitness app, Kinomap Trainer, allows you to run parts of the real route via pre-recorded video footage. To find out more about this innovative concept stop by stand number 434 in the main exhibition area of the Virgin London Marathon Exhibition 2013.
Alternatively, you can check out the London Marathon interactive map.
Eat a meal high in carbohydrates, drink plenty of fluids and get an early night.
Set an alarm (or two) and allow more time than you think you’ll need to get up, wash, eat breakfast and change into your running kit before the race.
Top tips for race day
Rise with plenty of time to shower, get changed into your running kit, check you have the race number and chip properly affixed.
Eat an energy filled breakfast at least two hours before the start of the race. Only eat a breakfast that you have eaten before running in training. Choosing to eat something new could easily upset your stomach.
Calm your nerves by reminding yourself of the training you have put in. You can’t do anything to change your training now so relax and try to focus on enjoying the race day.
Stay calm while travelling to the event. If you have a coach transfer organised form the hotel you can let the drive do the worrying.
At the start line, locate the toilets and stand in the inevitable queues. You might not feel like going right away but we’ll bet that by the time you get to the front of the queue you’ll welcome the toilet.
Stow any kit that you will not be using in the kit bag provided and leave at the baggage trucks.
Run your own race – and not someone else’s. Start evenly and do not sprint off from the start line. There are mile markers throughout the course and you can check the marathon pace guide to keep you on track.
Relax and enjoy the atmosphere of this huge event.
When you cross the finish line your timing chip will be removed and your official race time will be recorded. You’ll be given your medal for successfully completing the 2013 Virgin London Marathon, and a goody bag containing a finisher’s t-shirt, foil blanket, food and drink.
Now you can celebrate!