In Their Shoes

Virgin Money London Marathon race week and race day tips!

April 18, 2017

Our blog today is from Charlie, aka the Runner Beans! A 28 year old marathon runner and fitness junkie from London. Her blog aims to ‘pace the way to healthy without missing out on any of the fun’. Charlie is running her 7th (Boston) and 8th (Virgin Money London) marathon this month and you can find out more of her journey here:

Has maranoia hit you yet?

A state where you have phantom pains during your short runs, fear you’re ‘so unfit’ despite the fact that you ran 20 miles recently and come up with a multitude of scenarios that mean you won’t finish the Virgin Money London Marathon.

Join the club.

Don’t worry, it happens to everyone – even seasoned marathoners who suddenly fear that this will be the race that they succumb to the plague moments before the gun goes off.

Taper is a time to rest and relax, to eat well, top up your sleep levels (it’s two nights before race day that really counts) and look back over all the hard work you’ve put in over the past four months.

Remember, the race is just a victory lap. You’ve put in hundreds of miles to get to this point. Enjoy it.

  • Test your race day routine. Everything from your alarm time, to what you’ll have for breakfast (if you’re staying somewhere other than home the night before then are you bringing brekkie with you or enjoying the Champion’s breakfast at Holiday Inn?) Practice your morning routine, and even write it down to avoid panic the morning of the 23rd.


  • Prepare your kit. Make sure it’s washed, dried and adorned with your name, ready to rock on race day. Set out your gels/nutrition for the day, that way you’ll know if you need to pick up any extras at the marathon expo. DO NOT try gels for the first time on race day – they may not agree with your insides!


  • Set up a playlist if you’re planning on running to music. Personally, I save the music until I really need it – around mile 18 – and soak in the atmosphere and crowds up until that point.


  • Share your race number with friends and family, and encourage them to download the tracker app so they can follow your progress from Greenwich to the Mall.

  • Plan how you’re going to get to the start line. You can travel for free with your race bib on most London Underground lines, buses, overground and trams. If you’re lucky enough to be using the Holiday Inn shuttle then they’ve taken care of transport logistics for you!


  • Stretch, foam roll, take an epsom salt bath…Enjoy a bowl of pasta or other simple carbs the night before the race, put your feet up and watch a film. Above all RELAX.


Race day tips that you’re just going to have to trust me on…

  • Body glide/vaseline everywhere. Your armpits, nipples, inner thighs, underboob (ladies, I promise you you’ll thank me), feet. Anywhere that might rub after 26.2 miles of sweat.


  • Go to the loo. Even if you don’t need to. Take every opportunity you have to visit the porta loos.


  • Keep your phone on you and have your friends/family text their exact location (make sure they are specific) so that you can find them in the crowd as you run past. The tracker system doesn’t always work properly, especially for those spectating so you can also update them on your progress too.


  • Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink – sip a little at each aid station as you never know how much it’ll warm up throughout the race.


  • Bring flip flops and a soft top to wear after the race.


  • Hydrate before you have a few celebratory drinks… water, then wine 😉



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