Final marathon preparation insights: 'Reduce mileage, keep it short but with a bit of intensity'

Final marathon preparation insights: 'Reduce mileage, keep it short but with a bit of intensity'

EXCEPTIONAL amateur athlete Jane Hansom discovered her talents in endurance sport after taking up running in her 30s and kicking smoking and partying.

Apart from many giant-slaying achievements in Ironman, Jane is a hugely accomplished marathon runner, with a 2hrs58 New York marathon one of her favourite sporting achievements to date. 

Here, she runs through some finishing touches for the London marathon-bound runners and some superb tips for the big day. 

Wind down after the 23-miler, but don't let your body switch off

"In the last few weeks before the event you should be winding down. The last long run is 23 miles then you start to reduce the mileage. This means you will naturally carb load as you taper for the big day.

I start loading on CurraNZ a week out to ensure the endurance benefits kick in on race day.

In terms of runs the week before the race - keep it short but with a bit of intensity so your body remembers what to do but isn't tired from the volume.

Get a massage to arrive in top shape

I have a massage three days or more out from the race. Wednesday before a race on Saurdayt is the ideal time for a pre-race massage. 

Pre-race mental conversations 

I try to be calm before the race. After all - it's just another race. Once I get to mile 19 - it's "don't you dare slow down. Too many people are watching. Don't be sh**"  

Race-day checklist

  1. Change NOTHING before the race
  2. Have a good night’s sleep two days out. You won't sleep well the night before so clock the hours the night before that! 
  3. Eat a good breakfast. I always have porridge and honey two and a half hours before the race start - it's the breakfast of Champions. 
  4. DO NOT go off too fast. You CANNOT bank miles. 
  5. Remember, the race starts at mile 20 
  6. Eat and drink little and often. Calories in = power out 
  7. Enjoy it. Smile. High-five the kids 
  8. Recovery - that's easy. CurraNZ (of course) and a steak dinner and (expensive) bottle of nice red 
  9. Be proud and wear your medal to dinner 
  10. Enter another!