Sleeping for no more than 10 hours per night, avoiding crowded areas and drinking half a litre of water before running are key to performing as well as possible in the London Marathon, sport scientists have said.
The advice comes as part of Macmillan Cancer Support’s “ultimate formula” for running the marathon, which will take place on April 28.
More than 40,000 people took part in the event last year, running the 26.2 miles (42km) from Blackheath to Westminster.
Macmillan recommends that this year’s runners consume 500-600ml of water two hours before the event, sleep for between five and 10 hours and sideline self-doubt to mentally prepare for the race.
Competitors hoping for peak performance should avoid illness by staying away from crowded spaces and washing their hands before meals, and consume five grams of carbohydrate and 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of their body mass every day in the week before running.
Macmillan says competitors should follow the formula: 5C(kg/bm) + 1.5P(kg/bm) + H2O + (5-10hr)S – I – SD = Marathon success
The formula recommends runners have five grams of carbohydrate and 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass, plus water, plus between five and ten hours’ sleep, minus any illness, minus self doubt.
Macmillan says that combination of ingredients will lead to marathon success later this month.
The formula was designed by Anna Campbell, professor in clinical exercise science at Edinburgh Napier University.
Prof Campbell is an exercise adviser to Macmillan Cancer Support, which has 800 runners supporting it at this year’s marathon.
The charity estimates that its runners will raise a total of £1.45 million.
Prof Campbell said: “The week before the London Marathon is a crucial time for all runners, not just to reach their fundraising targets, but to complete those final preparations for the 26.2-mile challenge ahead of them.”