Top Training Tips From Our ‘Meet the Experts’ Day

Are you in need of a boost as your training gets more serious ahead of the big day? Try following some of these fantastic tips from some of the UK’s top coaches, runners and fitness experts.

Martin Yelling, endurance running coach, former international runner and Ironman Hawaii finisher:

The long run is the most important run of the week. This teaches your body to get used to time on your feet. Increase your distance by only one or two miles every week.

There are different types of running pace: easy, steady, tempo, threshold and fast. Easy and steady should form the bulk of your training.

Three weeks out from Race Day, start to taper your training to allow the body to recover and rest from all the hard months of running. Do less and run smart in the final couple of weeks of your marathon journey.

Consider your marathon training budget. Be realistic about what you can commit to. Ideally, you need to run at least three times a week. You've got to be consistent and commit to your training to see improvements. Progress gradually and keep going!”

Benjamin Garcia, sports science manager at Lucozade Sport:

Be aware of the signs of overtraining. If you feel exhausted, have a loss of appetite or feel rundown, take a couple of days rest to recover.

During Race Week, include carbohydrates in each meal and stick to what you know. Make sure you hydrate well each day.

On the day of the race, stick to a breakfast you have tried and tested in training. For many runners, porridge is a popular choice.

Recovery starts as soon as you cross the Finish Line. Kick-start the process by eating a healthy snack and drinking a carb or electrolyte drink.”

Andy Dixon, editor of Runner’s World magazine:

Running at a steady, even pace is vital. While it's tempting to go off too fast – don’t do it. Setting off at a steady pace will help conserve glycogen – your body's fuel store. Go off too fast and you'll burn through this quicker.

Don't be afraid to run/walk the London Marathon. This is a good tactic for first time marathon runners as it breaks up the distance.

Sam Murphy, running coach and Runner’s World magazine section editor:

Avoid doing too much too soon. Gradually increase your training in small doses.
Your weekly mileage should go up by no more than 10 per cent each week. Volume is both mileage and intensity of your training.

The bulk of your training should be easy and comfortable paced runs. Always follow your most challenging sessions with easy days. Also have recovery weeks where you do less.

Don't just run – it's a great idea to include cross-training in your training. Don't be tempted to overdo it though. Strength and conditioning is an important part of injury prevention. Exercises that use your own body weight are good.

Vary your running terrain to work different muscle groups and help reduce injury risk. Each foot strike will be different on a trail. Road running is still an important part of your training, but don't be afraid to mix it up. You should include trail, treadmill, road and track.

The average runner takes 10,000 steps an hour – which means that good posture is vital. Try to run tall.

Remember to warm up to reduce your injury risk. Make it progressive with a brisk walk and gradually increase your range of movement. Stretching cold muscles can increase your injury risk, so save that for post run. Try to hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds.

Don't be afraid to back off and rest for a couple of days in your training if you feel a niggle. Seek help from an expert and get treatment. Listen to your body and respect it. Learn to know difference between good and bad pain.

Jo Barnett, executive director of Virgin Money Giving:

Social media is key to making online fundraising work. Use Twitter and Facebook to show people what you're doing and to share your journey.
Don't just set up your Virgin Money Giving page and then ignore it. You need to tell your story and market your fundraising. Why are you running?

Richard Whitehead, Paralympic gold medallist and marathon world-record holder. He also ran 40 marathons in 40 days in 2013:

Think of the London Marathon Finish Line as the end of an emotional and physical journey; crossing it is a special moment.

Don’t forget to take in the atmosphere of the race. Tower Bridge is awesome and breathtaking; it's definitely one of the highlights of the race.