Expert tips for the Virgin Money London Marathon

This month, our Manchester Lounge hosted a London Marathon “Meet the Experts” Event where we were joined by a trio of experts who shared their knowledge on how to prepare for race day and what to do on the day itself. You can read some of the great advice they gave below – and don’t forget that the main stage at Expo has a programme of experts who will be there all week to share advice and answer any questions you have. Check out the timetable of speakers when you arrive.

London Marathon – where to go and what to do

Geoff Wightman (featured above) is a Commonwealth Marathoner and Race Day announcer. Geoff explained what steps to take and the common pitfalls to avoid on Race Day.

  • The most important thing is that you turn up to the start with your bag, your tag and your race number. You’ll get them when you register at Expo; guard them with your life!
  • Know where you are going, check which area you start at and check you are heading to the right station. Don’t forget; your race number is your ticket to start line! Just present it to a member of staff and they will let you through the barriers. Do not try to travel by car!
  • Don’t wait till the very last moment to use the loo. Get in a queue, even if you feel you don’t need.
  • If you see a motorbike in front of you on the course it means you are extremely fast and should have started with the elite runners. Congratulations or slow down your pace – you’ll know which one is you.

Fuelling up for the London Marathon

Louise Sutton (right) is a leading nutritionist who offered nutrition advice and effective hydration strategies.

  • Preparation is key, take some time out to sit and plan your meals and snacks for your training, what you put in your body is a key part to your success.
  • One of the most common mistakes is to over hydrate, remember that water adds weight to your body. Drink what you need and listen to your body, if you become dehydrated it can effect the brain and even cause you to trip over.
  • Try to carry as little as possible when running, the streets of London are filled with re-hydration stations and the streets are lined with well wishers there to pass on lots of treats to keep you going.
  • On race day, you may be tempted to enjoy a nice big breakfast but don’t stray from the norm, have what you would normally have. Remember, you can have the full English the day after without a care in the world.

 Training and running advice for the big day

Steve Vernon is a New Balance Distance Running coach who shared best practice for training and running.

  • Listen to your body, if you have a small ache or a niggle you should react to it. Rest is sometimes the answer but if not you should seek help or professional advice. If things are left untended they can often hinder your performance or ability to run.
  • Proactive people are always successful, plan your training, write it down and keep on track. Figure out your runs and keep them interesting. A change in scenery can often help you combat the mental fatigue of training. Always make sure you have contingency in your plan, think about illness, family and work commitments. You have to make it work for you.
  • On race day – keep to your pace! You may feel like you have the energy to pick up your pace but this can change and leave you struggling later on your run.
  • Above all else make sure you taper your runs down on the final week. Have an active but easy week.

We’re #RunningLondon with you

Virgin Money Giving will be hosting a whole load of Virgin Money London Marathon content for runners, fundraisers and fans. Check back for regular content between now and 22 April and don’t forget to keep an eye on our twitter and Facebook.