Before You Start Training

Before you begin your training for the Virgin Money London Marathon, we recommend you pay your doctor a visit for a once over. They will be able to offer advice tailored to you, taking your medical history into account.

Heart problems

A fitness test isn't always enough to detect heart problems, so if anything in the list below applies to you, it's best to get a full cardiac assessment before you take up running.

  • There's a history of heart disease or sudden death in your family.
  • You suffer chest pains or discomfort when you exert yourself.
  • You experience sudden shortness of breath.
  • You have rapid heart palpitations.

Medical conditions

If you've got a serious medical condition you can still enter the Virgin Money London Marathon, but we'll need agreement from your doctor, and details of your condition and treatment.

Please check with your doctor before you enter the Virgin Money London Marathon ballot, then if you secure a place, please send your medical details and doctor's note to us at the address please below. Please mark the envelope as 'confidential', and include your runner number if you have it.

Virgin Money London Marathon Medical Director, PO Box 1234, London, SE1 8RZ

If there's a risk you may blackout during the race (for example if you suffer from fits), please mark your runner number in these ways:

  • Put a red cross on the front of your number.
  • Write the details of your condition and treatment on the back of your number.

Are you ready?

If you feel ill on race day it's important to withdraw from the race. Most medical emergencies at the Virgin Money London Marathon happen because people who aren't well enough to run try to continue. Even if you make it to the finish, you're unlikely to enjoy the day or give your best performance.

Don't feel pressured to run because you've been building up to it or have collected sponsorship money – you'll be able to defer your place for a year if you follow our race withdrawal procedure.

It's also important to withdraw from the race if you're not fully prepared. You should have a good indication of your fitness from your training, but as a benchmark, if you can't comfortably run 15 miles a month before the race, you probably won't be able to safely complete the Virgin Money London Marathon.