Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hot To Trot - London Marathon, April 25th 2010

The weather for tomorrow's London Marathon is looking a little mixed. Warm in the morning and a probable shower around 3pm or 4pm. Almost everyone will long since be home by then so it could be a tough run for the middle of the pack. Here's the BBC's forecast:

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The last 5 years have seen 3 hot race days and 2 rainy ones. On a rainy day, I run about 20-30 minutes faster over the 26.1 miles than on a hot day.

Top tips for hot weather

- With the recent spell of warm weather, hopefully you've figured out how to run in such conditions and so are practiced. If not, take it gently - start slower and pace yourself

- Watch out for the Lucozade stops. The slower you are, the more sticky fluid there will be on the ground when you get to each station. It feels like running over velcro.

- Hydrate but don't over hydrate; drink before the race rather than too much during it. Too much water will slow you down, probably result in a rest stop and almost certainly lead to stomach discomfort as all the extra fluid sloshes around. And you're hot, but drinking warm water from the water marshalls won't necessarily cool you down.

- Look for the shade along the course, not that you will find much but use it when you can. The London Marathon folks are kind enough to install a few spray showers along the route - use those when you can. In Docklands, there's lots of shade from the tall buildings, but there's less wind so it tends to feel more humid

- Wear sunscreen and/or a hat. And a t-shirt to cover up your shoulders unless you've put some strong sunscreen on those. Being hot, tired and sun-burned isn't any fun at all.

If you feel dizzy, cold, damp or in any way disorientated, ask St John's Ambulance people to take a look at you - you'll seem them regularly along the course.

Elevation Profile

For those looking for a last minute elevation guide, here's one - the purple line is elevation, the green bars are my pace per mile last time round. Note that I'm not great at negative splits!


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Update: For those kind people wishing me luck, I'm not running this year - this is what I'm doing instead.

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