01 June 2020
| THE HEARTBEAT OF WOMEN'S SPORT

London Marathon tips with adidas and Advent Running

April 20, 2016
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Last week I was lucky enough to attend an evening with adidas and Advent Running for a gentle run around the last couple of miles of the London Marathon course, while talking all things marathon with experts James Poole and Claudia Shroegel.

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Held at the beautiful Corinthia Hotel London, the event began with a talk from James (@The_Poolester) and Claudia (@Claudi8S) who gave us advice for physical and mental preparation 10 days out. After our pep talk we donned our adidas tops and took to the streets for a run along part of the marathon route. While this was great practice, I couldn’t help but think about how different these miles would feel on the day! A blissful post-run massage at the Corinthia ESPA Life Spa helped to ease my muscles, but I’m still feeling nervous for Sunday.

I’m sure that many other runners will be feeling the nerves. Fortunately these expert tips from adidas running coach Martin Yelling will help us to keep calm and race smart:

1) Don’t run a marathon… just before ‘the’ Marathon.

“You might be feeling great the week or two before your Marathon, your training could be in full flow and you might be feeling stronger than ever. Now rest. Seriously, you’ve got yourself to the perfect position and training harder or even attempting to run extra miles in advance will only put your body under unnecessary pressure. Save it for race day and arrive fresh, ready and relaxed.”

2) Don’t put blind-faith in your favourite running shoes with the holes in them.

“But equally don’t buy a load of new kit and wear it for the first time on race day. Check your kit a week before the Marathon and make sure you’re happy with it, then take it out for a run, at least twice (remember, short and easy running only) and finally make sure you wash it well in advance of Sunday. One of the most common moans is about the kit you wear so best to make sure it is clean and laid out and ready on the Thursday or Friday before race day leaving nothing to the last minute.”

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3) Don’t leave it all to the last minute – make arrangements and write a list to prepare

“Picture the scene: you’re running the marathon with a bunch of friends, you’ve done all of your training together, you turn-up on race day and oh, err, where are they?? There are around 36,000 people who run the London Marathon each year and needless to say the chance of you finding your mates at the start area is slim. Arrange to meet them at an agreed, easy to locate meeting point or travel together to the event if you plan to run with them. Prior planning accounts for a lot of other areas as well – make a list in advance so you only need to worry about the miles, not what you’re wearing, eating or where your family will be stood.”

4) Don’t turn-up to the Expo on Saturday – go on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday – if you can.

“Saturday will be the busiest day, flooded with runners and slower to get registered or get any kit you are after. It will be much lower stress to do this before Saturday and get it out of the way. One word of warning though – don’t eat your way around the Expo! There will be hundreds of tester drinks and gels on offer, if you come out with a sugar buzz it will affect your energy levels and sleep, the last thing you want before a Marathon! The runner expo really is everything running and it’s tempting to hang for hours experiencing it all. Don’t spend hours on your feet. Remember, you’ve got a marathon to run!”

5) Don’t do attempt to do the grand tour of London the day before, stay off your feet on the Saturday.

“Seriously, it might be the first time your mum and dad have seen London, or maybe your brother or sister want to go shopping on Oxford Street – leave them to it. Your Saturday needs to be about getting as much rest as possible even if you have family or friends visiting to support you. This is most important when it comes to the soles of your feet given the amount of training you will have done for the Marathon. Put your feet up, get the TV on and relax your body and your mind.”

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6) Don’t start the marathon with no idea of the time you plan to run it or what your kilometre markers are in advance.

“A marathon is about planning and after all your training preparation why start it with no idea of what you want to achieve and the way you are going to go about achieving it? Set a target finish time based on your training, your form and race expectations or aspirations. Then know your target mile times for 1 mile, 3 miles, 6 miles, halfway, 20 miles and the finish. Remember that efficient and energy saving running is best for a marathon and this is achieved with ‘even splits’ (approximately the same mile time per mile for all 26.2).

Don’t charge out of the blocks and try to run a harder first half, thinking that it will balance a slower second half. All it will do is impact your energy reserves early and severely affect the second half of your race and could damage your ability to finish. A marathon finish is achieved from mile 20 when the race really starts!”

7) Break down the race in your mind – it is far easier to run 5 or 10Ks.

“If you think about the Marathon in one long distance it will feel like an unassailable mountain which scares even the most seasoned runners. Instead treat it like a series of small 5 or 10Ks that you are doing several times. Breaking down the race will give you clear markers in your head and also a sense of achievement as you reach each before realising how close you are to the finish.”

8) The marathon is as mental as physical – don’t stress yourself out pre-race.

“Check the weather in advance so you’re aware of what you are going to face, if it is going to be a hot day consume more water in the two, three days beforehand to get your body ready. If it is going to be cold or wet – take an old jumper that you don’t mind leaving at the start line. The more prepared you feel the less of the challenge the Marathon will be mentally, why leave anything to chance for one of the biggest challenges of your life?!”

“Control the things you can control like what you wear, what time you arrive, how fast you run and don’t worry about other people or the weather.”

Stephanie Tait, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

Get involved on Twitter and share your marathon journey with @adidasuk using #WHYIRUNLDN.

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