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Anna Boniface’s London Marathon tips

by editor
Tuesday 17th April 2018
In part 2 of her marathon tips series Saucony athlete, Anna Boniface, gives us her advice on nutrition, organisation and how to stay focussed leading up to the race.  And as a 2.37 marathon runner, who was the first female finished from the mass start in London last year, Anna knows her stuff! 
Nutrition at this time is just as important as when you are in your peak phase of training. Now is not the time to start cutting corners. Alex Cook - Sports Dietitian gave me these recommendations during my marathon preparations. 
  • In the last 2-3 days before you race following a diet high in carbohydrate (8-10g/kg.bw) will ensure glycogen stores are topped up ready for race day. 
  • Sports drinks and energy bars are a good way to increase carb intake without adding too much volume. 
  • If you suffer from stomach problems when you run, you may want to reduce your fibre intake a few days before (limiting fruit and vegetables and opting for white bread, pasta etc.)
  • The day before, have your main meal at lunch time, then something light in the evening. This avoids you feeling too full.  
  • Avoid anything spicy or high fat at dinner, this could cause stomach problems the next morning.
  • On race morning have a light breakfast high in carbohydrate. Leave plenty of time for digestion. 
  • Start hydrating as soon as you wake up - aim for at least 500ml. 
  • Do not be tempted to try anything new on race day - you could end up visiting all the portaloos! 
Be Organised 
You want to be calm on race day. Organisation is key to have a stress free, smooth race day. 
  • Have your kit laid out with the numbers pinned onto your vest the night before. 
  • Pack your bag the night before the race. My key items in my bag are a plastic bag to put trainers/kit in afterwards, a post race protein drink and warm clothes and a fresh pair of socks. 
  • Plan your journey to the start of the race. Include checking for any travel interruptions.
  • Check the weather and dress accordingly. 
  • Leave yourself an extra 30 minutes to spare. 
You’ve prepared months for this one day. Nerves, doubts and phantom pains can set in during the taper. 
  • Keep using positive language and surround yourself with positive people. 
  • Marathon mantras- find a power phrase for the hard moments in the marathon. To help me I say “Run Brave” and attempt a smile (although usually looks like a grimace). 
  • Enjoy it! Remember how hard you’ve worked. Marathons are an amazing atmosphere and it’s an experience you will never forget. You are ready. Channel your nerves into excitement. Be prepared for one of the best days of your life! 

If you missed part 1 (on tapering and how to make your race go smoothly) see here

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