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A bit of advice for London Marathon 2018 runners

April 19 2018

It’s set to be a scorcher this Sunday, and while most of us will be pulling out the BBQ, over 40,000 people will be putting on their running shoes to take part in the 2018 London Marathon. The 26.2 mile race first took place in 1981 and since then has raised over £890 million for charity.

This year, Teenage Cancer Trust is the official charity of the London Marathon and many Care UK colleagues will be taking part in the race or cheering on their friends, family and other competitors.

Paul Soley, physiotherapy manager at Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre in Plymouth offers advice to people taking part, whether it’s their first race or if they are an experienced runner.

Look after your feet

Bin the old pair of trainers. You need to look after your feet and good footwear is the best foundation for distance running. Shoes should be light and supportive and always wear proper running socks. If you’ve bought a new pair, make sure you break them in properly before race day.

Warm up

Before you head off full of enthusiasm, make sure your muscles and joints are ready for action. Build up your strength and always start a run with a thorough warm up session – that way you are less likely to injure yourself.

Take it long, short and slow

Give yourself plenty of preparation time and take things slowly to start off with. Remember, the big race itself is the pinnacle, so try not to peak too soon, or do something that could result in injury. Start with short distances and build up to the length of the ultimate race, building up your speed over time.

Remember to drink

Always take on plenty of fluids when you’re running. A mixture of water and energy/electrolyte type drinks are recommended. There a multitude to choose from and you should use whatever suits you best.

If you’re injured

Stop – do not try to push yourself. Apply standard first aid treatment for small injuries and for the more serious injury call the emergency services. To assist with your recovery seek treatment from a registered physiotherapist and follow their advice – it’s easy to undo their good work by returning to training too soon.

During and after the race

Never try or wear anything new on race day. Wear your usual running clothes and run at the running pace you have practised in training. Remember to do some cool down exercises, and congratulate yourself on a great achievement! Advice on race-day nutrition and hydration can be found on the London Marathon website.