Top Ten Tips for Running a Successful Marathon

| 08/02/2012 | 1 Comment More

Mike Buss running the 2010 London Marathon

So you’re getting ready to run a marathon, well here are my top ten tips for a successful marathon.

If you are already signed up to a Marathon in the near future and wandering how you can increase your performance and have a successful marathon time, then read on.  Mike Buss World Record Breaking Ultra Marathon Athlete explains how you can improve your time on the day with his top 10 tips for preparation in the final build up to the marathon and on the day

1.      Keep hydrated:  Not just during the race, you should take on board plenty of water, remember even without training for a marathon the average person should drink about 1½ltrs. Also get used to energy drinks if you’ve never used them before, especially try the marathon sponsored drink as this will be the only one on offer to you around the course unless you carry your own.

2. Check your shoes:  They should be in good condition, make sure if they are a new shoe they are broken in.  Make sure you have gone to a running specialist store which can do a gait analysis for you to get the correct shoe for your style of running. Xtenx laces are also a great idea, especially in hot environments; these laces are elastic and stretch, so when your foot expands the shoe will expand with you.

Get your running style checked out at the best Running store in Swindon, The Big Adventure Store at Base Point, West Swindon

3. Your pasta meals pre-marathon:  Don’t try and carb overload the night before the race. You could end up with an upset stomach the next morning. Instead have a fairly modest meal – My favourite is Tuna Pasta Bake enjoy a pasta dish, just don’t overdo it. In fact I recommend not doing anything too much out of the normal for the whole week before the race.

4. Relax the day before:  Try taking things real easy. Don’t spend hours on your feet at the pre-race expo – you’ll feel it the next day. A hot bath with Epsom salts can be really relaxing and beneficial.

5. Pace yourself correctly:  This is probably the most important factor that determines your performance.

You have already should have been training at your race pace during your long runs, so should know how this will feel on the day… I use the Timex GPS watch that is great for helping with pacing.

Take into account the weather, the course terrain and how you feel. I firmly believe it’s better to start out a little slower than your goal pace. Adjust your pace depending on how you feel, if you’re struggling at the halfway point you’d better pull back.

6. If the weather is bad – adjust your finish time:  Bad weather is one of the main things that can really impact your run. It’s better to accept this fact and aim for a slightly slower time rather than run out of energy and hit the wall at mile 20. Who knows, you might have a great run in spite of the weather, in which case you can pick up the pace in the latter stages of the race.  Bad weather doesn’t just mean cold and wet, in fact hot weather tends to effect people the most, take plenty of water and listen to your body.

7. Be careful with power gels and energy replacement products:  Don’t take energy gels if you haven’t done so during training. Your stomach can become upset very easily as you get into the later miles. Experiment with different gels during your training runs if you are thinking of taking them during marathon day.

8. Mental preparation:  I have always been a big believer in mental preparation as well as physical fitness preparation! If you believe in yourself and you are happy with how your training has gone then you will have a great race day, but if you turn up to the start line unsure and negative you are more likely to hit the wall and may even not complete the marathon, let alone try for a good time!

9. Walking:  If you feel you ever need to break walk instead of totally stopping, this will save your legs from tightening up and at least you will still be closing in on the finish line. It will also give your legs a change from the constant running stride. This will help the muscles avoid tightening up too much in the later stages also.

10. Post marathon:  You probably won’t feel like doing anything but collapsing but it will help you to gradually cool down by walking around for a few mins bringing your heart rate down and then stretching. Its also best to take onboard a recovery drink such as ISO2 Nutrition Complete Recovery As a result you’ll recover faster in the days following the race.

By Mike Buss

For more information on running marathons, call: 07791 356 482 or Email:



Category: Marathon Advice

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