With record high temperatures expected for Sunday’s London Marathon, here’s how runners can be best prepared
A record temperature high of 23 degrees Celsius has been forecast for Sunday’s Virgin Money London Marathon, with 22.2 degrees in 1996 and 2007 the event’s previous hottest ever race days.
Measures are being taken to help runners to deal with the conditions, including extra water and showers out on the 26.2-mile course.
“We have numerous contingencies and we continue to monitor the weather,” said event director Hugh Brasher.
“We have put extra water out on the course to enable runners to douse themselves. We have additional showers out on the route and we have additional ice at an awful lot of the medical stations throughout the course.
“Information we are sending to runners is led with ‘run according to the conditions’,” he added. “If it is warm, then slow your pace accordingly.
“If runners are planning to run in fancy dress, they should look at whether that is appropriate in the conditions. London loves the fancy dress element but people really need to look after their health and make sure that it is appropriate in the conditions.”
Here are some top tips from Professor Sanjay Sharma, medical director of the London Marathon, on running in the heat:
Adapt your goal according to the conditions
In the conditions forecast for Sunday, you should slow your planned pace. If you were planning to run in fancy dress, please think carefully about whether that is still appropriate in the conditions.
Listen to your body
If you feel thirsty, drink water. If you feel overly tired, slow down. If you feel unwell in any way, visit one of the 39 first aid stations on the course. Check out the locations of the first aid stations by downloading the Virgin Money London Marathon App.
Wear the appropriate clothing
This should ideally be lightweight moisture management clothing designed for use in warmer conditions, but remember that new clothing can chafe if it hasn’t been worn and washed.
Drink according to your thirst
There is water or sports drink available every mile from mile 3 to mile 25 on the course. Be careful not to over-drink – drinking too much water can be dangerous and lead to hyponatremia (water intoxication) – read more here.
Drink, Douse, Drain, Drop
When you take water, drink if you feel thirsty. Douse your head and the back of your neck with the remaining water. If you don’t need all the water, check if your fellow runners would like it to douse themselves. Drain your bottle by squeezing out any unused water. Drop the bottle carefully on the ground for our recycling teams to collect.
Use the showers
There are six shower stations on the course which are based at miles 9, 13, 17, 20, 22 and 23 – remember to run through these if you need to cool down. Remember that as your running clothing becomes wetter, you may experience chafing. Consider taping sensitive areas such as nipples and using petroleum jelly to help prevent chafing.
You may be out in the sun for several hours so remember to apply a good quality sunscreen to all exposed areas before you leave home.