13 Apr

Taper And Focus Are Required Now

London Marathon 2016

Taper and focus. Two words that will be very much in the minds of thousands of Virgin Money London Marathon (VMLM) hopefuls as the great and the good begin to steel themselves for the challenge of the annual journey from Blackheath Common to The Mall.

With just over a week to go, there is little that anyone can do to improve their fitness and chances before London Marathon sets off on Sunday 23 April. Yet there is plenty of damage that can be done in the final few days. Sensible runners will be enjoying the feeling as they taper their mileage right down, remembering that there will be a 26-mile top-up to come.
Focus is an overused word in sport but in the context of marathon running it means paying attention to those little details that can make all the difference, leaving nothing to chance. Just like the elite at the sharp end, you need to plan and execute your race as you have intended and not get carried away on a tide of euphoria as soon as you see the throng at Greenwich.
One runner who has the experience to maximise his potential for success is 'Marathon Man' Steve Edwards, who hopes to record his 700th sub-3:30 run at London. Steve already holds a myriad of world bests, including the fastest ever 700 marathons at an average of 3:16:06.
Finishing the race is the primary aim of the majority of the 50,000 accepted entrants and this has been achieved by more than a million runners since the first London Marathon in 1981. 
However, records will be in the minds of some competitors and there were 31 Guinness World Records (GWR) set or broken last year. One that should stand the test of time was Tim Peake's fastest marathon in orbit (3:35:21). The fastest GWR runners were Sean Fitzpatrick (2:39:08), dressed as film character Elsa from Frozen, and Naomi Flanagan (3:08:34) dressed as female book character Tinker Bell.
Whether you are a rookie runner or an experienced hack, and whatever your motivation for tackling the marathon in London, the staff at runABC wish you good fortune and hope you enjoy the day. 
Image from 2016 courtesy VMLM news and media.