Just because the weather looks like it’s going to heat up this weekend, it doesn’t mean your London Marathon pace needs to slow down.
Check out these top tips from We Run as they look at the best ways in which you can protect yourself against the elements, and still have the race you’ve spent the last few months training so hard for.
Review your clothing and make sure it’s both comfortable and appropriate for the heat. Take your kit for a quick road test on 1-2 easy runs of 20-30 minutes. It is very easy to dehydrate by wearing layers that are too warm. Also ensure your clothes don’t chafe, and use Vaseline if required.
A very wet and cold Spring means that we’ve not seen much of the sun so far this year, but looking at the forecast I would recommend a lightweight running cap for the day. This will help shade the face and keep the worst of the heat away from your head.
As the temperature increases, your feet will sweat more. Make sure your socks are well fitting, and in good condition! If need be, tape any hot spots or use blister protection such as Compeed. Always lace the running shoe from bottom up so it is snug, but not so tight it feels like a tourniquet. All reputable running shops will carry a good selection of spring/summer socks.
Hydration & Electrolytes
If you are running without a bottle or small camelback, make sure you drink at every drinks station and use electrolytes pre-race. One key area often overlooked is electrolytes and the essential function they perform.
Electrolytes are lost in the form of sweat in significant amounts and must be replaced. Replacing electrolytes is essential to keep your body hydrated, to enhance performance, and to help prevent muscle cramps. Electrolytes also help the brain and nervous system transmit and receive important signals and allow the muscles to contract and relax.
Electrolytes are certain minerals; calcium, chloride, magnesium, potassium, sodium ions and are essential to health. As an essential mineral, an electrolyte cannot be substituted by any other nutrient in the diet. That means that your body will only accept that particular mineral or electrolyte.
In terms of hydration, electrolytes are responsible for directing water (and nutrients) to the areas of the body where they are needed most and maintaining optimal fluid balance inside the cells.
Besides maintaining fluid balance, electrolytes help your muscles to contract and relax and assist in the transmission of nerve impulses from your nervous system to different body parts.
In the second half of the Marathon start to eat your energy snacks, whether that be gels or sugar sweets such as jelly babies. 100g will contain 330 calories. A waist belt is handy to carry these in.
Remember the body can store only store 1,500 to 2,000 Calories of available glucose / glycogen in your liver, muscles and blood stream, after which you either refuel or burn fat.
As a rule of thumb the energy required to run a Marathon is 1 Calorie x Weight KG x distance in KM. For a 75 Kg person that would equate to 3,150 Calories.
Written by Coach Jason Taylor, a qualified Leader and Coach in Running Fitness with England Athletics, a REPs 4 level Personal Trainer and Army PTI. Coach Jason is an experienced distance runner, having completed the Ridgeway 86, Pennine Way in 8 days unsupported, as well as various half marathon, marathons and ultra cross country races.
www.we-run.co.uk is a nationwide run coaching network, offering 1-2-1 run coaching services and group sessions, as well as affiliations with a host of corporate running clubs and charities.