Fitness and Performance

Crossing the finish line: The do’s & don’ts in those final weeks… 

Apr 11 2019

After months of training hard, running at all hours in varied weather conditions, the finish line is in sight for those running in the first races of the 2019 Marathon season. Brighton Marathon takes place this Sunday with London a mere two weeks later. Regional lead Physiotherapist Larissa Christian has given us her top tips to help you cross the finish line, listing the do’s and don’ts in those final days…

Marathon season is approaching, the London Marathon is on the 28th April, the countdown is on!  There are times when you run a marathon and you wonder, why am I doing this? But you take a drink of water, and around the next bend, you get your wind back, remember the finish line, and keep going.

Carb loading

Carb loading is the part of the training that you look forward to.  This should be done not only the night before but up to a week before.  This ensures you are storing the energy in your muscles.  For example, Potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, bananas, jelly sweets, Lucozade sports.  Remember that you are doing less exercise, you want to aim for high carb, low-fat meals.

The Final week

That week before the race, when you are either a bag full of nerves or just wanting to get the race out of the way.  The only thing you can do wrong here is too much. Aim to complete two easy runs this week; for example, a 30minute continuous run and a 30minute interval run. Make sure you save your energy!


The day before hydration is key.  You want to ensure you are taking in plenty of fluids and considering the weather on the day.  Last year the London Marathon was the hottest on record and on average 4.5litres of water were consumed per runner during the event.

Race attire

Make sure your race day outfit is tried and tested. You want to make sure you are wearing the trainers which feel most comfortable, with the socks that fit well.  You want your clothing to be comfortable and breathable but having layers for the start line.

On the day make sure you manage to eat breakfast, from a piece of toast and banana to an energy drink at the minimum.  Aim to consume this 2-3hours prior to the race.  As you slept, your brain was active and using the glycogen (stored carbohydrate) from your liver. Breakfast restocks those stores, so you’ll be less likely to run out of fuel.

The Big day

When you approach the start line remember why you decided to do this.  Take in the crowds and remember to warm up.  Break up the run into laps and stick to your running plan.  You made this for a reason. During the run take on fluids early on to prevent dehydration as the race continues.  Keep to the type of fluids, gels, food that you know.  You don’t want to make the mistake of trying something new and your body not agreeing with it.

Top tip of the day – remember to enjoy it!

Crossing the finish line…

After the race, remember the adrenalin rush, remember the happiness you felt crossing the finish line.  Try not to let this marathon be a one-off and book into the next event, whether this is a half marathon, trail run or something bigger.

However, if you do ‘run’ into any problems, please do remember to book in to see someone to ensure that everything is okay and to reduce any future issues.


If you’re in need of some support, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Click here to find your nearest Bodyset clinic, where our expert team of clinicians are ready to help you with a personalised treatment programme. Any questions? Contact our friendly client care team by calling 033 0333 0435.