Running the London Marathon? These 5 wellness tips will help boost your game

From skincare advice to nutrition tips, here's all you need to know before the big day

(Image credit: Sporlab / Unsplash)

The London Marathon is approaching faster than expected, with the huge event taking place this Sunday. If you're taking part, you're probably set to go with the best trainers and best running watch, but have you considered how to best prepare your body beforehand?

From prepping your skin to making sure you consume the correct food beforehand, there are many things you can do that will ensure you perform at your best. 

We've therefore spoken to a mixture of nutritionists and experts who have shared their advice on what you can do to support your wellbeing ahead of the marathon. Keep reading to find out what they said, and how their advice can help you. 

1. Eat the right foods beforehand

We've spoken to the sports nutrition experts at Bulk who analysed the nutritional content of popular dishes to see which are the best for building muscle and helping with stamina. A spokesperson from Bulk commented: “It is important for athletes to get nutritionally rich meals, especially ahead of the London Marathon which requires a lot of physical, and mental, effort."

You should be aiming for ingredients such as onion, garlic and tomato. Not only are these a great base for most meals, they're a reliable source of B and C vitamins, all of which help different enzymes function and strengthen our immune system. Olive oil also has anti-inflammatory properties and have proven to be an excellent source of antioxidants. 

If you're a snackish person, nuts are great for regulating biochemical reactions such as blood pressure, sugar levels and muscle function.

2. Apply SPF 50 in the morning

Whatever the weather is on Sunday, prepping your skin beforehand is crucial. Nicola Moulton, skincare expert at Beauty Pie, explains that sun damage can lead to "dry, dehydrated and sunburnt skin in the short term and dark spots, loss of collagen and wrinkles in the long term."

"Even during the winter months, it’s important to wear a broad-spectrum SPF with high UVA and UVB protection on your face, neck and any skin that isn’t covered up when you’re running. Wearing extra protection like hats and sunglasses will also help to minimise your exposure to harmful UV rays,” explains Nicola.

3. Stay hydrated throughout

When running the marathon, it's extremely important to stay hydrated to replace any lost electrolytes. Make sure to consume a sports drink and food, such as gels and bars, as they provide a quick source of energy and essential electrolytes to keep you performing at your best. 

You should aim to drink about 0.4 to 0.8 litres of sports drink per hour to stay properly hydrated and fuelled. However, it's important that this is spaced out to maintain your energy.

4. Consume protein afterwards 

Protein plays a crucial role in the recovery process after running a marathon, especially as long distance running can cause microscopic damage to muscle fibres. Protein provides the building blocks (amino acids) necessary for repairing and rebuilding these damaged muscle tissues, aiding in muscle recovery, growth, and repair.

Sophie Gastman (ANutr), nutritionist at Innermost, recommends "consuming 20g of protein in the 1-2 hours after the event to help optimise muscle repair". Protein shakes are a super quick, convenient and tasty way to get the protein on-board for efficient and effective recovery.

5. Supplements!

Sophie also explains how nootropic supplements can "help exercise recovery through various mechanisms related to brain health, cognitive function, and overall wellbeing." Whilst their primary focus is on cognitive enhancement, some of their effects can indirectly support the recovery process after exercise by reducing inflammation, supporting cellular repair, and promoting restorative sleep. 

Supplements such as The Relax Capsules are designed to help speed up physical and mental recovery, reduce inflammation and regulate optimal hormone activity, thus promoting a faster recovery period. 

Lizzie Wilmot
Staff Writer, Home

Lizzie is T3's Home Staff Writer, also covering style, living and wellness. She works closely with Bethan Girdler-Maslen, T3's Home Editor, ensuring all the latest news, trends and recommendations are covered. Outside of T3, Lizzie can be found mooching around Bath, attempting (or at least trying to) a new DIY project or spending time with family and friends.