The second half of the Virgin London Marathon
Most runners are well prepared for the Virgin London Marathon and find the first half of the race relatively easy. It’s the second half that proves most difficult, as you become mentally and physically tired and have to run further than you ever have before. Here are our tips to surviving the second half:
From a gentle jog you can build up a steady pace to keep up throughout the race. If you rush off at the start, you’re more likely to struggle later on.
A slow start will also help conserve your energy stores for longer.
Keep your arms in
Try to avoid waving at the crowd too much for the first hour - moving your arms around a lot uses valuable energy. By keeping waving to a minimum your shoulders will stay relaxed and you’ll have enough strength left in your arms to help you power through towards the end of the race.
Try tailoring your running style in your training sessions so it’s as efficient as possible. This will help you save your energy on race day, and also give you a psychological advantage because you’ll feel more confident and in control of your body.
Remember to drink little and often, particularly in the first half of the race when you may not feel thirsty but will be losing a lot of fluid. This will keep you hydrated and help beat fatigue in the second half.
Don’t miss a drinks station, even if it means you have to cross the road to get there.
Train your brain
It’s completely normal for your mind to tell you to stop running and give up as you enter the second half. The best way to beat this is by doing some long runs in your training so you know what to expect. Try incorporating a few 2 hour runs into your preparation for the Virgin London Marathon.
Having a goal will also help keep you focussed on the race. Why not set yourself a target time to complete the distance or use the Virgin London Marathon to raise money for charity. It may also help to set yourself smaller goals throughout the race to keep your concentration up, for example, you might decide to reach the next landmark in a certain time.
You’re not alone
Other runners will be able to offer support as the race gets tough. Make an effort to encourage those around you and keep each other motivated.
Friends and family cheering you on from the sidelines will give you a huge boost.