Club Marathon Advice

Printing your name on your running top

Having your name on your running top will help get supporters cheering for you on the day.

If you decide to do this you could do this yourself but here is a link to a service for this from Ofiicial London Marathon site. You send off your t-shirt for printing although they may still do it at the registration?

Notes on Windmilers Marathon Meeting

1) Nature of Meeting

Rather than a formal presentation, the meeting was more a question and answer session and a sharing of experiences.

These notes hopefully reflect what was said at the meeting but readers should be aware that some of the items are personal opinions and that you should always consider how anything would work for you!

2) Things we could all agree on

a) ENJOY the run!!!!!

Especially as we had asked everybody for there “hoped-for-time”, the point was strongly made that perhaps the most important thing is to enjoy the day. There are lots of variables that the runner can’t control and therefore it is important to keep in mind that it can be a great experience whatever happens (and in fact being relaxed about things may actually result in a faster marathon).

b) We are all different!!! Whilst there are things that generally seem to work for most people and there are lots of things that are good advice, we are all different and you should try and adapt any advice to what is suitable for you. 3) Who was there?

Plenty of first-timers along with marathon runners of varying experience up to 30+ marathons!

Of the people there, 50% were trying to follow a specific schedule, 1 was running 7 times per week, 2 were running 5-6 times per week, and of the remaining 2/3 were running 4 runs per week and 1/3 3 or less.

Perhaps interestingly, this seems to suggest that most people choose or are forced by other factors to run < 5 runs per week whereas most schedules suggest 5 or more runs per week. There was some differing opinion on this and perhaps this is a question to return to in future years!

4) Thoughts and advice

a) First timers - be aware that you may well be delayed by the volume of runners at the start but this shouldn’t last for too long. Just relax and be patient and you should find room to run at your pace.

b) First timers – don’t be tempted to run too fast at the start (especially as some of this is downhill)

c) Don’t be a slave to your training schedule - listen to your body and make sure you get rest.

d) Have your name on the front of your shirt – great for crowd support (although if get in trouble in the race, there is risk of getting cheered on when you really need to stop!)

e) Pacing – on the day, Runners World provide recognisable pacers at 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 minute miling which may prove useful Also, they are holding a paced training run in Richmond Park at 8am on Sunday 4th March. Need to register online at

f) Run actual last 6 miles of course – you may like to familiarise yourself with the end of the race before the day – see Serpentine Runners for map of course -

g) Training – Long Run – this is key to training. Most advice is that this should be the slowest run and slower than marathon pace although some runners choose to run at their marathon pace.

h) Training - other runs – these can incorporate speedwork, hill work, tempo and recovery runs. Note – the club sessions on Saturdays, Tues/Thurs are good for this!

i) Nutrition – if you are running for over an hour most advice is that you will need to top up your carbohydrate levels on the go. Many runners were using carbohydrate gels (Science in Sport being most popular) in their training and on race day. Also, correct hydration and fuelling should be taken before and after the run. And, of course, remaining hydrated with water or a sports drink during the run. But whatever you do – TRY IT WELL BEFORE THE DAY!

j) Sports cap - If you take an appropriate sports cap you can put this on the water bottles on the day which may make them easier to drink.

5) Further advice

If you have any questions during your training please speak to your coaches (e.g. Olwen Seear and David Bell) and people who have run the marathon before. Some advice from Olwen is also accompanying this email.