Runners Feet

GUEST BLOG: KIM INGLEBY’S 26.2 QUICK TIPS FOR YOUR BEST MARATHON

Activbod ambassador Kim Ingleby is an award winning Personal Trainer, Team GB Sports Therapist & ‘Mind Ninja’ to the elite, celebrities and people running their first marathon or hunting that PB. Kim established Energised Performance in 2004, training over 100 people to complete their first marathon, and will give you top tips and confidence to cross the finish line, whatever your pace or outfit. She has run 3 marathons, one in Sierra Leone, completed an Ironman and raised nearly £40,000 for charity. Tweet her @kimingleby

My 26.2 Quick Top Tips for your Best Marathon on the Day (these will work for any race if you adapt them):

  1. Get plenty of rest and sleep the week leading up to the marathon
  2. Eat good quality, energised foods but avoiding anything you don’t normally eat
  3. Stay well hydrated and limit your alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks, stick with water
  4. Keep your body moving, short consistent runs, focusing on your technique
  5. Spend plenty of time stretching and rolling, to get your muscles in the best condition but don’t overdo it if you are not used to doing it
  6. Have a sports massage several days before, if you usually do this
  7. Keep your pre race plan the same as what you have done before your long runs, you know it works so be consistent
  8. Plan your travel, timings and meeting points with friends before and after
  9. Avoid spending too much time on your feet at the Expo when you register
  10. Take snacks and foods to the Expo, don’t eat things (gels etc) that you don’t normally eat, keep them to try after the marathon!
  11. Plan your clothing for race day, have two outfits depending on the weather
  12. Keep calm and stay confident that you have done enough training and can do it
  13. Whatever training you have done, will be enough, just make sure you plan how you are going to pace yourself to complete the race
  14. If you have had a cold, flu or sickness a couple of days before, ask yourself how much energy do you have out of 10. 26 miles is a long way, so as disappointing as it could be, only start the race if you are feeling well
  15. If you have running niggles, make the time to see a physio for advice before the race to know how to manage it well and avoid any long term injury, as above look after your body, you will want to run again, even if you don’t think you will when you finish!
  16. Write down a really clear plan from Friday to Monday morning, travel arrangements, food you are going to eat, time to go to bed, get up, kit list of things to pack, then you will be calm and relaxed
  17. Write down another plan for race day, from the time you wake until the time you get home, most people plan until they finish but forget about what they are going to do afterwards, wear & eat. This can really enhance your recovery and enjoyment post race, so take a little time to do it.
  18. Keep all your nutrition the same, eat the same breakfast, drink the same fluids and all through the race only use things you have tried before. Plan if it is hot, or you become tired what you will do. I massaged at the Virgin Elite Site one year, and one guy had been on a sub 2hrs 30 for his first marathon (!), then at mile 21 he saw people taking more gels on board and thought, I should try that to give me a kick for the last 10km. He had never done this before, and ended up being really ill and finishing in 3hrs 20mins. Still pretty speedy but remember, give you body what it knows what do with.
  19. Think about the clothes you are going to take to the start, as you will be standing around for quite a while and you don’t want to get cold
  20. Enjoy the start and stay calm, remember your pacing. There could be so many people around you that the start will be slower that you may wish, just enjoy the atmosphere and take your time. When the crowds ease, keep to your race pace and don’t try and catch up at this point, if you are feeling stronger near the end, that’s when to pick your pace up.
  21. Remember your form, so think about your running technique, engaging your core muscles and keeping your feet light. The better your technique the quicker and easier you will find it, I promise.
  22. Have a ‘album’ of positive images, thoughts and words that will keep you motivated in the moments you feel tired, bring those to your mind and the challenging moments will pass. If you listen to music whilst you run, make sure you are happy if you can’t hear it, or perhaps you drop it & it doesn’t work, be prepared for the unexpected and then you can only succeed
  23. Have one word that will help you believe you can do it! Courage, Confidence, Strength are all words clients have chosen and this really helps focus them at times.
  24. If you become tired, breathe in calm & strength, breathe out tiredness and any worries
  25. Enjoy the crowds, enjoy the moments and be proud of all the training you have done & the moment you have crossed the finish line, be proud of YOU. You will have done the best you could have done on the day, so whatever you think you could do another time, be proud of what you have achieved this time
  26. Reflect the following week on your achievement, take at least 2 weeks full recovery and 2 weeks easy training before you get going again, get a sports massage to check all your muscles are in good condition and check your trainers are still supportive for you

26.2 Have FUN

Wishing you all the most wonderful, best race possible on the day! Stay fit, be well, strong and energised, Kim Tweet me @kimingleby how you get on, I love to hear your stories.