Former BBC Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton is no slouch when it comes to marathons. She’s run the London Marathon twice – on one occasion doing it only two weeks after completing a 78-mile ultra in the desert. She’s also completed the New York Marathon and enjoys distance running. Last year, she ran the Virgin Money London Marathon while doing some presenting and then famously threw up on the shoes of the BBC cameraman at the finish line, then, being the true professional, turning to the camera to do some additional presenting. What a pro! Ahead of Sunday, Helen was kind enough to share with Christina Macdonald her top race-day tips…
Tip 1: Don’t get stressed about your race time. The race is so busy and crammed at the start that you won’t be able to go at the pace you want at first. A lot of people get frustrated by this but don’t worry, you will fall into step and after about five miles you will find the pace you want. Don’t waste energy stressing about it.
Tip 2: In the second half of the race, distract yourself by enjoying the scenery. You will get to experience some of the most iconic London scenery.
Tip 3: Beware of the cambers in the roads. Don’t run the entire race on the left, with the road tipping away. Move around a bit to even out the surface.
Tip 4: If you are having a lull, draw from the crowds, you’ll see people shouting your name and the support will get you through.
Tip 5: Drink before you get thirsty and eat before you get hungry. Don’t wait! Don’t get sucked into eating or drinking what others think you should have. Only eat what you normally consume.
Tip 6: If you think you are getting a blister, deal with it before it gets too much.
Tip 7: Don’t get scared by others. At the start, some people will ask what your predicted race time is and you may compare your time with theirs. Don’t worry about what others are aiming for. Stick to your own goals. Only be around positive people. Don’t talk to anyone being negative.
Tip 8: Make sure you meet family and friends at the end and go out and celebrate. You’ll have the best evening of your life!
Helen Skelton is a Karrimor running ambassador and ran the London Marathon last year in 4 hours 30 minutes.
Karrimor Running is available in stores nationwide and online at www.karrimor.com