Running and training for a marathon are great ways to improve your physical and mental health – but there are things you need to do to ensure you stay safe and well on and before the big day.
Get checked by your doctor
Before you begin training for the Virgin Money London Marathon, we recommend visiting your doctor for a check-up. They will be able to offer advice tailored to you, taking your medical history into account.
If you have a serious medical condition we’ll need your doctor’s agreement, and details of your condition and treatment, before you can enter the Virgin Money London Marathon.
Please check with your doctor before entering the ballot, then, if you secure a place, send your medical details and doctor’s note to:
- Virgin Money London Marathon Medical Director,
PO Box 1234
Please mark the envelope as confidential and include your runner number if you have it.
If there’s a risk you may blackout during the race (for example if you have seizures), 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
Healthy heart checklist
A fitness test isn’t always enough to detect heart problems, so if anything in the list below applies to you, see your doctor and get a full cardiac assessment before taking 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.
What if I’m ill on event day?
If you feel ill on Marathon Day it’s important to withdraw. Most medical emergencies 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 event or give your best performance.
There’s no need to feel pressured to run because you’ve been building up to it or have collected sponsorship money – you will be able to defer your place for a year if you follow our event withdrawal procedure.
You should also withdraw if you’re not fully prepared. Be honest with yourself. 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 event, you probably won’t be able to safely complete the Virgin Money London Marathon.