Preventing Injury on Race Day
Here are our tips for staying healthy, happy and injury free during the Virgin Money London Marathon.
Wear the right clothing for the weather on Race Day. If you have to slow down your pace or start walking as you become tired, you may start to feel the cold.
In hot weather try to wear loose, mesh running gear.
Make sure you’re hydrated when you start the race – an easy way to tell is by the colour of your urine. If it's a pale, straw colour then you're drinking enough water. It's important to drink whenever you can during the race, particularly in the first half when you may not feel thirsty but will be losing a lot of fluid.
Staying hydrated will help you keep going as you near the finish, and also prevent cramp. But try not to drink large volumes of water in one go as it can make you feel ill – little and often is best.
If it's a hot day, try to run in the shade where possible.
Don't be tempted to pour bottles of water over yourself to keep cool. It's a waste of valuable supplies, and in hot weather there will be showers dotted around the course for you to run under.
The finish line
Make sure you eat and drink as soon as you finish the race. You may feel fine as you cross the finish line, but it's common for runners to start feeling dizzy and faint over half and hour after they stop running.
When you cross the line, keep moving to stay warm. As soon as you can, make your way to the baggage trucks to change into warm, dry clothing. A foil blanket won’t keep you warm for long.
If you're well prepared for the race it's unlikely you'll need any medical attention, but if you do feel ill or suffer an injury, there will be St. John Ambulance posts every 50 to 100m past the drinks stations and near the finish line.
If you need to drop out of the race, you can always travel to the finish to collect your kit bag on the London Underground or Docklands Light Railway – just show the staff your race number and you can travel for free.