Training

Martin Yelling's Video Q&A Friday 14 April 2017

In the last in a series of live video Q&A sessions on the Virgin Money London Marathon Facebook page, top performance coach Martin Yelling takes last-minute questions from runners ahead of the big day on Sunday 23 April 2017.

You can watch the full Q&A video below, and keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages for more tips and info leading up to the London Marathon.

Q. Why in taper week do I find four miles hard when three weeks ago I ran 20?
A. That’s because your brain has kicked into ‘Maranoia’ mode and you over-analyse everything, and you can get what’s called ‘analysis paralysis’. I like to think of it as your body preparing itself for Race Day and what’s about to come. If you are feeling a little lethargic, that’s just because your body is waiting to go. Don’t hate the taper; enjoy the taper.

Q. I’m worried about the Start Line. Is it really busy?
A. Yes, it will be really busy. Don’t panic about that. Just relax, and just go with having an amazing day and enjoy that moment on the Start Line. It’s going to be phenomenal.

Q. Thoughts on a negative split: is it possible?
A. Yes, it’s possible but it’s also tough. A great way to pace your marathon is to have a relatively narrow window of pacing; something like five per cent. If you’re aiming to run a 10-minute mile you don’t really want to be running 11-minute miles near the end. Try to hold 9:30 to 10:30-minute miles near the start. Your pace near the start directly impacts your pace near the finish. Go off too fast and you’re likely to decimate your chances of running a negative split.

Q. Are the pens ordered by time or is it a free-for-all?
A. It is definitely not a free-for-all. You will not be able to pitch up on Race Day and jump in the front pen. Give yourselves plenty of time on Race Day to find your pen.

Q. Would you advise no alcohol this week?
A. It’s up to you; a glass of wine is not going to hurt; a bottle every night might. Don’t worry about that kind of thing, you’ve got enough to worry about this week. A little glass of wine one evening is not going to do you any harm.