Movement

Tips for Every Mile of the London Marathon

Almost 40,000 runners did it last year. This year, it’s your turn to dominate the streets of the world’s largest marathon. A challenging course coupled with spectacular views – London Marathon is made for greatness. Ready to find out what finishing a marathon feels like? Once you’ve made your way to the start, here’s how you squeeze the most out of every mile:

Start – The Impatience

It might take you up to 15 minutes to reach one of the three different start lines. Your timing chip won’t start collecting time until you actually cross the line. No need to rush. Double-check to ensure your watch and/or running app is ready.

Mile 2 – The Converge

Watch out. Here, runners from all three start lines converge. Zigzagging wastes energy you’ll want to save for later and rushing won’t gain you any meters at this stage. Stay calm.

Mile 4 – The Rhythm

You didn’t make a race plan for nothing. Relax, find your rhythm and try not to fall for the temptation of speeding up in this slight downhill section.

Mile 6 – The Bottleneck

Greenwich Campus and the Cutty Sark are coming up. Admire the views, but be careful not to get stuck where the course narrows off just before Cutty Sark.

Mile 8 – The Stretch

One third down already …almost. Perfect time to check your pace and find a smooth stride on this long, quiet stretch. Keep hydrating and fuel up when possible. Little and often is key.

Mile 10 – The Crowd

Quite the sight on your right. Maybe a reason why the area after the Docklands tends to get crowded, so be mindful of your surroundings. Good time to pace yourself with the other runners.

Mile 12 – The Highlight

London Marathon wouldn’t be London Marathon without Tower Bridge. Pick up some extra energy from the cheering spectators and soak in that panorama view without losing your pace.

Mile 14 – The Skyline

Already flown through half of it. Grab another water and fuel up for the second half. Make sure to keep your strides steady while admiring the grand buildings across the river.

Mile 16 – The Pacechanger

Only 10 miles to go. While runners around you might pick up their pace at this point, stick to your plan and fend off the temptation to speed up. 10 miles is still 10 miles.

Mile 18 – The Congestion

Narrow, crooked roads and thousands of exhausted runners – a recipe for congestion. Zigzagging won’t do you any good here either. Watch your footing and don’t let the tired runners around you slow you down.

Mile 20 – The Stillness

Enjoy the calm before the storm. This section tends to be quiet with few spectators. Refocus, recharge and refuel. If the mental race hasn’t started yet, it’s about to.

Mile 22 – The Test

Back on the highway. Four miles might not sound like much at this point, but you’d be surprised. Remind yourself why you’re doing this and focus on sticking to your plan.

Mile 24 – The Sightseeing

Once you pass the Tower of London and spot Big Ben and the London Eye, you know you’re close. There aren’t two water stations between Mile 24 and 25 for no reason. Hydrate for an extra energy boost. Now is the time to speed up on the flat stretch.

Mile 26 – The End

Your body can do a lot more than your mind gives it credit for. One last sprint past the Houses of Parliament, St. James’ Park and Buckingham Palace, and you’re done.

That’s all it takes and you’re a marathon runner. Think about that for a moment.

Best of luck on Sunday! You’ve got this.

“Normally the final miles of a marathon just hurt! In London, that’s totally different as you‘re running past these extraordinary, historical buildings along the River Thames. When passing Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, don’t hold back. It’s still tough, but the impressive view helps ease the pain!”

– Wilson Kipsang, London marathon course record holder.