With preparations well underway for this summers Virgin London Marathon theres a lot for competitors to contend with, as training, fundraising and the all-important costume choice taking high priority.
With so much to focus on its easy to overlook small matters such as race etiquette and pre-race routine, however as marathon veterans will tell you, this can go a long way to determining your performance.
Whether youre taking part in the Virgin London Marathon or a smaller event, here are five tips for race preparation which should stand you in good stead:
1. Make sure you pin your race number on, including a number on your back if required. At most races youll be provided with pins, but its a good idea to bring some of your own too. Try to avoid folding or covering your race number - it needs to be seen by the race marshals.
2. Larger events will have a baggage truck where you can leave your belongings and pick them up at the end of the race. Make sure you follow the instructions carefully and write your name and race number clearly on your bag. Dont give your bag to anyone other than friends, family or the baggage truck staff.
3. Listen out for announcements in case any race details change, for example if the start time is delayed. In a large crowd its the only way the race organisers will be able to communicate with you and you dont want to miss anything important.
4. Be aware of other people around you as you warm up for the race. If possible, pick an area away from the crowd to stretch. Also plan your visits to the toilet carefully, there are likely to be queues near the start of the race
5. Make sure youre in the correct starting position at larger races this is usually based on the time you expect to finish, with faster runners towards the front. This is important because it means faster runners arent forced to change course to overtake and slower runners dont feel theyre constantly being overtaken. If youre not sure of your expected finish time, keep towards the back of the crowd.
For more top tips, head over to the Virgin London Marathon website.