Long-distance running is the ultimate test of endurance, and as you get close to the day of the event, you can be filled with a mix of excitement and a little anxiety.
This is doubly so for an event like the London Marathon, the second biggest distance running event in the United Kingdom behind the Great North Run and one that has etched a significant part of the UK athletics calendar.
Every year, The Trap plays and there is a palpable excitement as thousands of runners of all backgrounds and levels of experience run together on the same course across one of the world’s most unique capital cities.
However, amidst this excitement, it is essential to make preparations to ensure you make it to the end of the course and whilst your training will take place months beforehand, your preparations in the last 24 hours before the starting gun will make all the difference.
From ensuring you pack rehydration tablets for after the race to choosing the right set of shoes, here is what you need to do the day before the London Marathon.
Take It Easy
The temptation is always there to have one last training session, but this can be counterproductive to a runner’s preparation. If you have been training in the previous months and feel ready, your last day being a rest day will not affect your fitness or your chances at success.
Some people do like to do light exercise or a slow run the night before to boost their morale, keep themselves limber and shake off their nerves. Whatever works for you is the right decision.
Nothing New For Race Day
The golden rule for athletes is that the day before an event is not a time to experiment with a chance of routine, so try to keep everything as close to familiar as you can.
This means sticking to foods you have been eating during your training, familiar clothes and shoes, familiar running fuel, a sleeping environment as close to home as possible and drinking water throughout the day, not drinking it all before you head to bed.
Keeping everything familiar keeps you laser-focused on the race.
Lay Out Everything You Need
Organise everything you need and lay it out somewhere in the room. That way, you do not have to worry about whether you are missing anything or where it is in the room.
Everyone’s essential running toolkit will be different but tends to include:
- Your running clothes, including the race bib and safety pins.
- Running shoes and socks.
- Extras, such as a hat for hot weather and layers for cold weather running.
- Race fuels, anti-chafing products, sunscreen and anything else you need.
- GPS watch, music source and earbuds, if allowed by the event.
- Any bracelets or tags you need for restricted access.
This will help give you plenty of time to get ready in the morning and translates to one less worry to keep you awake the night before.