For 2016, I'm building up for another London marathon, then over the summer I want to focus on 5k & 10k races.
For my past few marathons, even when staying in a hotel, I always take my own cereal – usually Weetabix or a porridge pot. I rarely eat before Sunday long runs but on marathon day, I have either one Weetabix with milk and sugar or a porridge pot (where you just add boiling water) – not particularly healthy but easy to have in your hotel room and they work for me. I will also have a cup of tea. I don’t drink much water pre-race.
I use High5 energy gels – I prefer the Citrus Burst variety but have also enjoyed the Mojito ones! Seems wrong to be thinking of cocktails when running a marathon, but it always makes me chuckle as I reach for my gel, which I guess helps keep me relaxed!
During London this year I think I had about 5 gels. I will try to have my first one around 5 miles. This approach worked well for me at Berlin 2014 and London 2015.
I also took on some Lucozade sports energy drink from one of the aid stations towards the end, I think near the tunnel around 23-24 miles (you know the one with the obscene Disco music blaring in it!) After quite a few gels they can get a bit difficult to take onboard and I am not keen on water, so the flavoured energy drink is a good alternative to carry me through to the finish.
Once crossing the line, I will try to drink some of the water provided in the goody bag but otherwise I’m afraid it tends to be meet up with friends for a pint at the pub in Westminster! Especially this year as I was so stunned with my time!
I am not usually hungry so don’t really eat much. I find it hard to eat soon after the long runs. On the way home from London marathon though, I do like to have a well-earned MacDonald's at Fleet services!
I have tried various different belts to hold my nutrition but struggled to find one small enough for me that doesn’t bounce around for 26 miles during the marathon. The one I used at the London marathon 2015 didn’t suit me at all and constantly distracted me.
However, whilst at the VLM expo I visited the Flipbelt trade stand. After my frustrations mentioned during running London, I subsequently purchases an XS Flipbelt which I used at Bournemouth marathon in October, and I often use on training runs/longer races. It doesn’t move around at all and can accommodate gels, keys and phones securely. I thoroughly recommend this piece of kit. It was particularly suitable for me because the other belts just didn’t go small enough or bounced around too much.