Active Root founder Will is has run many a road race in his time and has also completed a fair few marathons, including London. It was actually whilst training for his first marathon that Will came up with the idea for Active Root!
So with London this weekend, he shares his best advice for race day and some of his own experiences.
1) Be organised
You’re running a marathon, a distance that most people would be anxious about completing and it’s inevitable that you’re going to be feeling nervous the night before. Something that I find really helps minimise my nerves though, is making sure I have everything prepared and organised the night before so that all I have to do on the morning of the race is get up and go! There’s nothing worse than rushing around in the early hours of the morning trying to find that 4th safety pin!
2) Stick to the plan
How many times have you trained at your own pace, got to the race and thought, "it’s race day now, so let’s start faster than I have ever run before!"? I know I have! It’s so easy to do: the claustrophobic start, the upbeat tunes, the crowd’s giddy, nervous excitement. It’s a hostile atmosphere when you need to stay calm and collected. But don’t be fooled by the euphoria on the start line or you’ll soon be regretting your ambitious pace.
Instead, relax. You have 26.2 miles to go, there’s no rush to get ahead. The best endurance runners are those that can maintain a steady pace, or even run a negative split. So zone out from the crowds, happily let them run past and think “I’ll be seeing you again in a few miles”.
3) Have your nutrition ready
Whether it’s SIS, GU or Active Root (of course it’s Active Root!), your nutrition should play a major role in your race strategy. Make sure you know what you’re going to take and when, and importantly why.
I like to take on board some extra fuel every 40minutes. This is because I know that the average person (and I’m very average!) can absorb between 60-80g of carbohydrate per hour. Most gels, sweets and chews contain about 30g of carbohydrate, so that, complemented with Active Root, lets me hit the optimum level of fuelling possible.
Then, just before the 20mile mark I’ll take something caffeinated. This is for 2 reasons: 20 miles is usually the point at which I begin to struggle (more), and I know if I have caffeine earlier than this, I’m going to have a low during the race!
4) Make sure you know where the portaloos are AND bring your own toilet roll.
This, is key. (According to a close friend of mine….) It’s a nightmare situation when you’ve been rushing around trying to find the loo, finally slam the door behind you with only minutes to spare to find an empty roll of cardboard! So find out where your nearest loos are and don't get caught out.
So, make sure you have as much fun as you can, make it an experience you want to remember and best of luck!