The London Marathon countdown - Final prep tips!

The countdown to the London Marathon is well and truly on now with just 3 weeks to go. Most of the hard work and long training miles have been completed but there are those of us who may be first timers, have had time off due to unforeseen injuries, have been ill or are just trying the full distance on the day. Whatever category you fall into here are some top tips to help get you through race day.

1) It is never too late to get those last minute niggles checked and treated. Don't leave it to the day before. It will not only put your mind at rest but could be the difference between running, walking or crawling across the finish line on the day. It can be as simple as performing a gentle stretch routine targeting your buttock muscles, hamstrings, hip flexors and calf muscles. 3 weeks is still plenty of time to keep your body flexible so don't delay and start stretching today.

2) Hopefully you have tried and tested different food and drink products and found the ones that suit you. Stick with the ones that work for YOU and do not change them now in the lead up to the marathon day as this can cause all sorts of problems on race day. There are plenty of spectators that hand out sweets & chocolates along the way so know what your body can effectively run on and stomach!

3) Stick to your guns and don't start off too quickly. It is very tempting to get carried away with your high adrenaline levels and the cheering crowds, but follow your timings and goals you have set in the lead up to the event. If you are just running without any set goals then see on the day how you feel, start off at a steady pace with enough in reserve to be able to save yourself for when the going gets tough. The final Embankment stretch may take more out of you than you anticipate!

4) Be prepared. Plan what you want to wear and run in and plan for all eventualities as the English weather is very unpredictable. You will know by now if you always feel the cold when running or whether you get extremely hot whatever the weather. Have everything ready the night before so there is no last minute panic.

5) You have done all the hard work, your longest runs and worked out what works and doesn't work for you. Taper your training and don't over-do it. Top-end fitness cannot be lost in the next 3 weeks so you have the luxury of taking it easy now in the lead up to the marathon. Even if you don't feel ready or prepared, do not panic, keep to your training plan, eat and drink well, and look after your body with stretches/treatment and just take in every single second of the day as it will be one you will never forget.

Running a marathon will hurt whether you do it fast or slow so enjoy every second whether it's your first, second or last marathon. And make everyone you are running for and yourself proud!

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