For many, it’s only a few weeks before the big race day, be that the London Marathon (on April 13), the Greater Manchester Marathon (on April 6), or our very own Brighton Marathon (also on April 6). Now is the time to start tapering your training and to keep hale and hearty, ready for the run.

Here are my top tips to help keep you healthy, strong and fired up for the big day.

Taper your training...

In the final few weeks it’s very important to reduce training mileage to allow the body to recover. As a general rule, the longest run in your training (more than 15 miles) should be completed at least three weeks before race day. The following week you should aim to reduce training mileage by 25% and the week after reduce it again by 50%.

Keep in good nick...

It’s very important to keep your mind and body healthy in the run-up to marathon day. Your mantra for the final training weeks should be: l Eat well: Eat meals with foods full of the energy needed for those extra training miles and the vitamins and minerals that help keep the body healthy. Try to experiment with meals to see which work best for your energy levels.

Hydrate well: Stay hydrated during the day, especially ahead of longer training runs. The best approach is to drink water little and often during the hours ahead of a run. If you try to catch up on fluid intake by downing a big drink immediately before running, you’ll frequently stop for loo breaks!

Sleep well: Try to get a good eight hours sleep ahead of long runs. Staying in on a Friday or Saturday night sounds boring, but get a good night’s rest and your mind and body will be refreshed.

Stretch well: The more mileage, the greater the strain, so it’s ultra-important to keep muscles in condition. Spend time on maintenance stretches after each run, helping to return muscles to their pre-run length. Check out my blog at for some great stretches for runners.

Check your shoes: By now your running shoes will have covered a lot of miles, so check them thoroughly for wear and tear. Bend and twist the shoes to see if they are rigid enough and can still provide adequate support, turn them over to see if the tread is worn through and look at the fabric upper for holes or tears. Now is the perfect time to buy new shoes and break them in.