The five-time Olympian and 2:28:24 marathoner has some top tips for runners taking on 26.2 miles in London this weekend
Jo Pavey will be among the thousands of runners taking on the Virgin Money London Marathon this weekend as the five-time Olympian forms part of another top elite women’s field.
The 43-year-old made her marathon debut in London in 2011, when she ran her PB of 2:28:24, and she followed that up by clocking 2:28:42 in New York later that year.
Having since turned her attention back to the track, Pavey now steps up to race over 26.2 miles again as she aims to secure a spot on the GB team for this summer’s IAAF World Championships in London by finishing as one of the top two British athletes on The Mall this weekend and running the qualifying time of 2:36:00.
Should she achieve it, Pavey would become the only Briton – male or female – to have represented her nation at 1500m (1997 and 2003), 5000m (2001, 2005 and 2007), 10,000m (2007) and the marathon at world level.
You can read more from an interview with Pavey in the London Marathon special preview edition of AW, out April 20.
Here she shares some marathon advice for those joining her in running 26.2 miles on Sunday.
“My top tip would be to pace yourself,” says Pavey. “Hopefully from your training you’ve been able to work out what sort of pace you think you can sustain and you’ve got to be quite strict with that.
“When I did my first marathon, I kind of knew I was running too quick at the start because obviously I was aware of what pace I was doing but I thought, ‘oh, this is fine!’ It felt comfortable right up until at least 18 miles. It was surprising.
“So even when it feels comfortable, be quite strict with yourself if you’ve really worked out what pace you can achieve. Obviously, don’t sell yourself short, but be strict with your pacing.”
On pre-race preparations, Pavey says: “Make sure you have your tried and tested pre-race snack. Make sure you’re organised and get your kit laid out the day before to keep stresses to a minimum.
“If you can be really organised for race day you can keep as calm as possible and just worry about the actual race.
“In the final week, remember you have done all of the hard work,” she adds. “It’s all about recovery now, getting your body feeling good, not feeling exhausted. Just make sure you get yourself feeling as fresh and healthy as you can.”
Finally, Pavey adds: “Also, just make sure you enjoy it! Take in the amazing atmosphere and really enjoy the day.
“Go for it and good luck! It will be an amazing experience and something you’ll remember forever.”
» See the London Marathon special preview edition of AW, out April 20, to read more from an interview with Jo Pavey as well as race previews and other athlete interviews