Marathon: Preparation is key to success – osteopath Tom Parry gives advice to runners taking on the challenge

Preparation is the key to marathon success

Preparation is the key to marathon success - Credit: Contributed

WITH April 21 looming large on the horizon, hundreds of runners have their sights set on one challenge – 26.2 miles of blood, sweat and maybe the odd tear as they take on the Virgin London Marathon.

Tom Parry, partner and osteopath at Parry and Gilmour in Melton

Tom Parry, partner and osteopath at Parry and Gilmour in Melton

Race training programmes will be coming together with the last few longer runs all planned out – the aim to hit at least 20 miles in the next month.

But is it important to make sure that all your training and hard work pays off.

The build up to race day is as vital as the months of preparation, pounding the streets to build up your distance.

And it is the simple things that make the biggest difference.

– Have you planned your food and water intake for the week prior to the race?

– Where will you meet friends and relatives afterwards?

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– Have you checked out where you need to register the day before the marathon?

In any event of this magnitude, how you perform on the day is ultimately dependent on your preparation, in the build up to crossing the starting line.

Your training should be right on track by now.

The next step is getting your nutrition and hydration right while considering the problems you could face on the day.

It is very important to approach the day itself in the same way you have the rest of your training. Now is not the time to start changing your routine.

When you get to race day make sure you warm up as you have been doing. Don’t forget that lots of standing around will mean you may have to perform more stretching than normal.

In the week prior to the marathon, ensure you are well hydrated.

But on the day itself 250ml of fluids is recommended before the race – taken on board with small, regular sips.

Be aware of the weather on the day. If it is very hot then you will need more water throughout the day.

And once you cross the finishing line, make sure you replace your lost fluids gradually, rather than quickly, all at once.

As for diet, in the week leading up to the race, keep your food intake as consistent as possible.

Try to eat slightly less meat while increasing your intake of carbohydrates. This will increase your body’s store of glycogen which supplies your muscles with energy.

Energy gels can also be helpful, especially if they have been part of your training programme.

And don’t forget, the route will be lined with support staff and volunteers on hand to help should you feel unwell.

When you cross the finishing line your first priority is to keep warm and start rehydrating, gradually.

Don’t forget to stretch and find your family and friends to celebrate your great achievements.

– Tom and his colleagues are offering half price treatment to all marathon runners who bring their medals in with them.

– Parry and Gilmour in Yarmouth Road is a multi-disciplinary practice offering osteopaths, physiotherapists, sports massage, personal training, pilates as well as sports and exercise medicine.

– To find out more visit or call 01394 387818 to book an appointment.