Ralph Hydes shares his top tips to help you prepare for your marathon

We’re proud to have the support of Ralph Hydes, our coach and all round fitness expert who has represented Great Britain in eight duathlon and triathlon age-group World Championships. Here he shares some of his top tips to help you prepare for your next marathon.

  1. Make sure that you are consistent with your training. It doesn’t matter how many miles you are doing but what does matter is how often you are running per week. If you run 4 - 6 times per week and are running up to 6 miles on most runs for at least 3 months you will find that when it comes to marathon day you will be able to run the marathon. Obviously this would be bear minimum but it is consistency which is the key.
  2. If you can train with heart rate - this will make you far more efficient and your training more effective.
  3. Start practising with nutrition i.e. gels, jelly babies, the breakfast you will eat on race day and at the time you will eat it on race day in training now so that your body is used to running with them. How are you going to carry gels or drinks. All need to be practiced prior to the day of the race.
  4. Wear the kit you are going to wear on race day and make sure it doesn’t rub. Use Vaseline on your feet, between your toes between your thighs and on your chest to stop chaffing.
  5. Wear a bin liner under your running top on longer runs to get your body used to running in the heat. Often the London marathon can actually be the hottest day of the current year but you are training through the cold winter months at the moment so wearing a bin liner under your top will increase your core temperature and prepare you for running in heat even though it isn’t warm. Come race day you will be able to cope with hot conditions. If it isn’t hot you will be able to cope just fine too so no drawback.
  6. Wear a bin liner to the start of the race to keep warm and then just discard at the start of the race. This will stop you getting cold after you have dropped your kit bag off at the start.
  7. Make sure you learn how to warm up properly and do so before every training session and the race. This will prepare you for the session or the race and help you perform better. It will also help prevent injury.
  8. Learn how to run at the pace you want to run the marathon in. Work out what time you would like to do the marathon in. Work out how fast this is per KM or per Mile and then practice running at that pace. If you are struggling to run 13 miles at this pace you won’t be able to run the marathon at that pace so it will help you reevaluate what your goal time should be.
  9. Plan your day before the marathon day. Work out how you are going to get to the start - don’t just try to work it out on the day as there will be 40,000 other people trying to get there so set off early and know the route. Find out where the finish meeting points are for kit, family and friends and for Rainbow Trust post race reception and how to get to them.
  10. When you finish make your way to the Rainbow Trust finish party and enjoy a well deserved massage. Bring your friends and family too.