Virgin London Marathon Countdown

From meeting RW at the expo to beating blisters on the run - here's all you need to know ahead of Virgin London Marathon on 21 April 2013.



It's almost here! Well done - you've trained through one of the worst winters in the UK ever and now it's time to enjoy what lies ahead - 26.2 miles, one great expo, one of the best marathons in the world and London's biggest party...

From meeting the experts to writing to-do lists, here's all you need to know ahead of the Virgin London Marathon 2013.

Free pacing groups

Once again, we're inviting you to enjoy the RW Pace Team's free pacing groups at the Virgin London Marathon. We have a record number of pacers this year, with a 43-strong team to help you finish on time and we will have a pacer for each time at every start. All you need is an official entry - you don't need to register with us separately.

We'll be leading ten groups:

- 6:52-minute miling (just under a 3:00 marathon)

- 7:26 minute miling (just under a 3:15 marathon)

- 8:00 miling (just under 3:30)

- 8:35 miling (just under 3:45)

- 9:00 miling (just under 4:00)

- 9:43 miling (just under 4:15)

- 10:18 miling (just under 4:30)

- 10:52 miling (just under 4:45)

- 11:22 miling (just under 5:00)

- 'Get You Round' (jogging pace, with a one-minute walk break after every five minutes and aiming to finish around 5:14)

Find out more about our pacing.


Meet us at the expo!

Marathon registration opens on Wednesday (April 17) at the ExCel Exhibition Centre in Docklands. Be sure to come say hello to us at the Runner's World stand (148), chat to our pace team advisors and find out information about the individual pacers who will be helping you around the course. Plus commit to your finish time and have your photo taken which you can share with your friends on Facebook.


ASICS Target 26.2

Now race day is nearly here, make sure you catch up with the latest from our team of Paris Marathon hopefuls, Sarah, Alex, Steve, Adrian and Mel. They've been mentored since late 2012 by coaches Sam Murphy and Steve Smythe (as well as the ASICS PRO Team). Join the forums now to benefit from their experiences, for last-minute advice and top race-day tactics. Plus check out lots of great spring marathon advice in the ASICS Target 26.2 hub.

Don't miss:

  • Race-day nutrition and hydration vodcasts from nutritionist Ruth McKean.

  • Coach Steve Smythe talks the importance of the taper in a vodcast.

Your final countdown

Our resident blogger physiotherapist Scott Mitchell gives his advice for the final week.

Nutritionist and RW blogger Dr James Morton gives his expert nutrition advice for the final week and for race day.

One week to go – the perfect tapering plan. The final instalment of our three-week marathon taper plan has everything you should be doing, eating and thinking one week from race day.

Marathon week day-by-day preparation guide. The seven-day countdown that no runner should be without – we've got mind, body, food, drink and admin covered!

Your first marathon: words from the wise. Fail-safe advice for marathon first-timers, written by our forumites.

Race-day Preparation Guide. Full of tried and trusted tips, it's what we learned the hard way!

Fuel the marathon with Lucozade Sport - VLM sponsors Lucozade Sport explain how to fuel correctly, and tell us which products you'll find along the London Marathon route.

From the RW archive: Check out this handy interactive mile-by-mile guide we created a few years ago.


All this, plus...

Don't miss our interview with Hugh Brasher, the joint race director of the Virgin London Marathon and son of Chris Brasher, the mastermind behind the very first London Marathon.

Coach Steve Smythe tells the golden rules of 26.2.

Join our Spring Marathon forum to share your thoughts and feelings in the build up to the big race.


'What if'... advice

These are our emergency 'What If...' guides - more than 20 scenario-by-scenario answers to help you in any marathon situation. What if it rains...? What if I get a slower start than I planned...? What if I feel really great at Mile 10...?

- In the week before the marathon

- In the final two days

- On race-day - before, during and after the race

- Race-day checklists


After the race

Why not share your photos and stories with us - send your tales and pics to editor@runnersworld.co.uk. And don't miss our forum too, where there'll be plenty of post-race chat.


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