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London Marathon Course Ideas + Frequent London FAQs


Anybody on the brink of run the London Marathon must learn this publish! It’s the whole lot I want I’d recognized upfront to have the perfect day potential for various our RTTF athletes. At the same time as a operating coach there have been classes to be realized and every race is just a little completely different. The London marathon course specifically has some actually key factors to know!

Fortunately, I used to be capable of cheer at many spots alongside the course after which speak in-depth with of us who completed for the primary time in addition to those that have run it for various years.

Hopefully these few key items to assist make life simpler. When you begin to understand how lengthy it takes to coach for a marathon, I hope you’ve began trying on the proper plan!

Moving into to London, there are plenty of questions on logistics for the beginning, the end and the whole lot in between! It seems lots of you’ve got the identical questions, so whereas I can nonetheless keep in mind all the small print I assumed I’d share some solutions and a few London marathon course suggestions that can assist you out.

London Marathon Ideas

As one of many Abbott World Marathon Majors the course hasn’t modified since 1981! That’s fairly unimaginable.

Now that we’re all excited, let’s dive in to some general tip sand then course specifics!

With any race, I’ve a couple of customary suggestions for our athletes:

  • Save the sightseeing for publish race. I do know you wish to discover, DON’T.
  • Have your what to eat earlier than the marathon meal with you or deliberate out, so you recognize it’s meals you tolerate. We noticed plenty of points in Berlin with unknown meals inflicting race day points.
  • Don’t get sucked in to driving the course. 🙂 It’s going to take endlessly and completely freak you out. (particularly with all of the roads that shall be closed)

Following are addition suggestions and tips from the entire Run To The End coaches.

london marathon strategy

#1 Practice for the Flats with Gentle Rolling Hills

Whereas it’s nice to have rolling hills all through your lengthy runs, you completely have to have legs which are educated to run lengthy stretches of flat highway. It requires utilizing the identical muscle groups again and again with out a break.

When you’ve been coaching on rolling hills, you might discover that issues begin to ache or fatigue.

This implies:

  • plotting out lengthy runs which have 400 ft of acquire over your entire factor
  • together with each quick hill sprints and lengthy hill repeats on the END of reasonably lengthy exercises (as a result of there’s a hill at mile 23 which feels greater than it is because of fatigue).
  • training the way you management your self on the downhill operating to not burn out the quads within the early miles

You’ll solely acquire 419 (127m) ft over the course of 26.2 miles. Chicago is just 243 ft, so that is greater than that, however nonetheless a largely flat course with slight beneficial properties as you run over bridges.

London Marathon Elevation

#2 Marathon Expo

Many expos usually are not like they was.

BUT London, as a marathon main, appears to buck that development which might imply plenty of further time in your ft. The truth is, they offer it a elaborate title “London Marathon Working Present” simply to let you recognize they’ve obtained issues deliberate!

We don’t need that keep in mind? Which suggests if you wish to take pleasure in all of it (and I do), attempt to go on Wednesday or Thursday! Then you possibly can seize your New Steadiness themed footwear, speak to a few of the cool of us readily available and return to your resort to relaxation.

 You MUST drop off any gear test on the expo, so no ready till race morning for this.

The NYC Marathon Expo is held at:
ExCeL London
Royal Victoria Dock
1 Western Gateway
E16 1XL

#3 Plan Nicely Forward for Your Begin Line Arrival

Nothing is worse than the nightmare that you just’ve missed the beginning…aside from really lacking it.

With 50,000 runners and a race that requires trains to get to the beginning, planning is a should.  The London Marathon begins in Greenwhich Park in Blackheath (that’s proper, NOT within the coronary heart of town).

9:00 is the elite ladies’s begin
9:30 is the elite males and first wave

Relying upon your wave, it could possibly be 20 to 90 minutes earlier than you begin the race. Ensure to plan for that along with your spectators.

That is one time the place staying close to the beginning isn’t the massive win we regularly search for. As an alternative, you’ll like wish to keep nearer to the end so you possibly can benefit from the coronary heart of London and get again for that scorching bathe.

  • Look ahead to an e mail that provides you a window on your arrival. That is based mostly on the beginning time of your wave.
  • There’ll three pens on the beginning space and every has 8 sections, so take note of your massive.
  • Purple: Southern Greenwich Park.
  • Inexperienced: St John’s Park
  • Blue: Shooter’s Hill Highway

Transportation to the Begin Line

One of many belongings you wish to contemplate is whole time on ft. I noticed many runners on the London marathon on their ft strolling for lots of time pre-race between the prepare, discovering the fitting cease, then strolling by means of the big begin space.

  • The beginning line space colour you’ll will decide which prepare station you wish to exit.
  • Blue you’ll exit on the Blackheath station after which be strolling roughly a mile to the beginning space.
  • Purple will wish to exit at Greenwich or Maze Hill.
  • Inexperienced will exit at Maze Hill.
  • Driving to the beginning will not be really helpful based mostly on the entire highway closures.

Irrespective of which choice you chose or which departure you’ll have a while in your fingers when you arrive.

london marathon finish
Coach Stacey ending the London Marathon

#4 Begin Line Space London Marathon Ideas

Just a few key issues you might not know and tricks to make the most of the time nicely.

Bag Examine

Luggage can’t be checked firstly line! It’s essential to drop your bag off the day earlier than the race on the expo.

You might solely herald issues within the clear bag offered on the expo.


London does enable hydration packs, in addition to operating belts and handheld operating bottles. After the fiasco with NYC and Chicago not permitting them catching runners without warning I similar to to ensure it’s famous and also you aren’t frightened.

Safety Gates

You’ll undergo safety to get to the place the corrals are. The strains transfer in a short time, however that is the place they’re checking for hydration or bringing in luggage aside from these allowed to be checked.

Household and spectators shall be turned away.

You’ll solely be allowed in to the corral equivalent to your bib.

Sit Down

Don’t waste tons of vitality standing round.

You’re about to run 26.2 miles and standing is taking vitality, and making your legs sore. Sit. Wait. Then rise up do some dynamic strikes and get in to your corral.

Take Throw Away Garments

The chance that it’s going to be chilly may be very excessive. So do not forget that in the event you now want to sit down round for hours, you’ll get chilled. Shivering once more goes to waste vitality.

  • Deliver throw away gloves so you possibly can even put on them the primary few miles
  • Reuse a mylar blanket from a earlier race
  • Deliver scorching fingers!
  • Completely cowl your head to maintain within the warmth
  • Deliver an previous blanket and previous garments – issues get picked up and donated afterwards

Deliver Your Meals

Whereas there are some provides from Lucozade to presumably bananas obtainable within the beginning space, we don’t need you do be harassed about discovering it or guaranteeing there’s nonetheless sufficient left.

With such an extended hole between the time you get up and the time you run, you could proceed fueling.

  • Hold sipping on electrolytes
  • Eat a bagel and nut butter, particularly if in case you have a later begin
  • Within the ultimate minutes earlier than you begin absorb an vitality gel or waffle or some excessive carb, fast sugar vitality


When you get in to your corral, know that it might nonetheless be awhile earlier than you cross the beginning line. Attempt to comprise your nerves and vitality. When you’re bouncing round, nicely once more you’re losing vitality.

When you adopted the rules they supply for arrival, you’ll in all probability have about an a hour.

Sit down. Eat. Chill out, till it’s time to do your heat up.

#5 Be Ready for Your Watch to be Fallacious

Hopefully you’ve spent a while coaching by effort as a result of there are going to be moments the place your GPS glitches.

It’s not going to be as unhealthy as say the Chicago marathon the place the primary 3 miles are in buildings that make it inconceivable to know your tempo. However you’ll go below bridges or simply hit moments the place it would get just a little bit off.

Focus in your whole time and your objective splits, not the tempo it’s at all times displaying.

#6 Be Ready for The Noise

Coach Stacey famous that the noise on this course was not like something she’d skilled earlier than. Whereas it’s initially actually thrilling, it may also be a bit overwhelming later within the course.

So don’t get too swept up in that cheering from the beginning or at different massive spots just like the Tower Bridge.

That is the place I take pleasure in having headphones, so I can tune out that chatter and get centered internally. Simply stay conscious of the runners round you.

#7 Plan for Put up Race

I do know you’re prepared for the course speak, however I feel that is tremendous vital!! Locals know that the Tube close to the end line is a multitude and can take actually HOURS to get on and get again to your resort.

As an alternative, in the event you can stroll to your resort that’s going to be quicker. Or in the event you can merely stroll a couple of Tube stations away from the end space, you’ll have higher luck.

London Marathon Course Technique

London requires it’s personal particular technique when you’re excited about pacing. It’s not simply the bridges or the early downhill, however the vitality ranges from crowds that may throw you off your deliberate tempo.

Know that the course goes to really feel very crowded from begin to end. Which means plenty of holding your self in test to not weave round individuals and add plenty of distance to your race, in addition to not getting caught up in anybody else’s tempo.

You’ll discover there aren’t a ton of turns, which completely helps make this a quicker course.

london marathon course strategy

Mile 1-2

It’s a really giant race, which suggests initially you’re going to really feel trapped on all sides by fellow runners. Don’t let this make you overly anxious about your tempo and don’t expend an excessive amount of vitality weaving round runners.

Your first mile is commonly your slowest in a superb marathon. Keep in mind it’s like the nice and cozy up.

Miles 3-6

London is a tough course as a result of one of many greatest downhills you’ll discover is within the first a part of the course. The tendency is to wish to actually open up and simply let your self fly, however you might want to maintain again just a little bit.

No have to placed on the brakes, but when you end up going a minute per mile/KM quicker than deliberate, decelerate. I do know that it feels straightforward proper now, however you’re burning by means of glycogen and your legs will really feel it in the long run.

As an alternative, enable your self to go 10 possibly 20 seconds quicker than your objective tempo on the downs. Simply conserving the physique relaxed and flowing.

Miles 7-24

This course doesn’t have plenty of variation or massive climbs to fret about, which signifies that plenty of it’s simply discovering the fitting psychological sport to maintain you going regular and powerful.

One trick is to divide the race in to 5K segments. Reasonably than excited about all of the miles to go, focus what you might want to do for simply the following 5KM (3.1 miles)

  • Gasoline early and infrequently is the motto of sports activities nutritionists. Take that first gel half-hour in and maintain going. Don’t really feel like fueling, test to see if it’s time and do it anyhow. (Checkout these marathon fueling pointers.)
  • Hold checking in with your self on whole effort and keep near your objective tempo, no overshooting it or attempting to make up time later. We all know that even pacing is your greatest probability of a PR.
  • Keep in mind to smile – it legitimately adjustments your physique response and helps.
  • Strive counting all of the costumed runners, it’s an exceptional quantity in London!
  • Go searching in any respect the unimaginable websites that you just’re passing and make some psychological notes so you possibly can inform individuals later. It’s an incredible psychological diversion!! For instance, operating the enduring Tower Bridge round mile 12.

As famous, the crowds are INTENSE in locations just like the Tower Bridge. So simply maintain operating your race, allow them to carry you up, however not trigger you to overdo it.

london marathon course tips

Miles 25-26.2

You’ll now have handed the enduring London Eye, Massive Ben and Tower of London. The end line is simply forward, which suggests your ultimate probability to hold on or resolve you’ve got just a little fuel within the tank to maintain pushing!

OMG you possibly can see Buckingham Palace, it’s actually and actually going to occur!!! By now the whole lot is hurting and your physique could wish to cease, however you completely have the facility to complete.

Dig in to all the explanations, you’re so glad to be there and simply maintain holding on to that tough effort.

London Marathon FAQs

Answering the highest questions I acquired from you through the years and particularly as now we have seen issues shift round different marathons.

What’s the London Marathon Minimize Off Time?

The reduce off time is 7 hours.

This time begins when the final wave crosses the beginning line at 11AM. They are going to be adopted by a bunch of about 50 walkers, that are thought-about the sweep for this race.

Technically you possibly can proceed onward, however they may start to open the roads again up and also you’ll be pressured on the sidewalks with out help.

What was the beginning safety like?

Cops have been checking for bibs, guaranteeing you had solely the clear plastic bag and winding everybody who handed by means of. Numerous discarded luggage, blankets, bottles and such outdoors as a result of they have been on the not allowed record.

  • Put on throw away gear as a result of the entire safety after which ready round may have you quiet down.
  • Sit down as a lot as you possibly can as an alternative of standing for hours on finish (take into consideration how that wastes vitality).
  • READ the information so you recognize what’s not allowed.

Are face masks required?

Not any longer.

Why do they are saying enable 30-60 minutes for the finisher’s space?

It’s not since you are hanging out having a celebration. You find yourself strolling not less than one other mile to get by means of your entire ending space after which again out to the place you possibly can meet up with household and mates.

It’s merely lots of people to maneuver by means of and it’s a gradual march previous medical, the photograph line, warmth blankets, a bag with water and snacks then a lot farther to any bag choose up space.

Additionally know, that it might take your loved ones a very long time to get to the end space if they’re taking the tube from one other spot the place spectating.

We determined to cheer close to the Tower Bridge, then you definately even have a couple of different spots the place you possibly can transfer round to catch your runner a couple of occasions earlier and later within the race.

What’s the expo like?

Positively one of many higher expos, in the event you like expos…and I do! Loads of the sponsors go all out with cheer stations, locations to make indicators, movies and naturally all types of drugs with London on it.

Not plenty of “specials” or offers that I might discover although.

  • Do plan further time since they’re checking vaccinations
  • Don’t spend too lengthy simply strolling across the day earlier than the race
  • Do maintain sipping plenty of water ALL day lengthy
  • Do take pleasure in each freaking second of this expertise

Pleased to reply some other questions you provide you with! These are simply the massive ones I heard loads!

Extra marathon day suggestions:

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