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The Ultimate London Marathon Weekend & Spectators Guide 2024

Heading to the TCS London Marathon on April 21st? Save your energy for the iconic track – when it comes to planning the best route to a memorable weekend, we’ve done the hard work for you. From must-book restaurants to the best spectator spots and of course, everything you need to know from lace-up to cool-down, here’s your ultimate guide to the TCS London Marathon 2024.

Your TCS London Marathon 2024 itinerary

London is bursting with must-visit hotspots all-year round, but the city really comes to life during marathon weekend. With the weather beginning to warm, gardens in full bloom and restaurants and bars alive with electric atmospheres, now’s prime time to explore the city at its finest. The team here at Let’s Do This have compiled the best places to eat, drink, be entertained – and of course, get prepped for the marathon itself.

Where to caffeinate 

Need a morning pick-me-up? That spring in your step starts here. 

  • WatchHouse, various locations. Sourced from around the world in line with the seasons and crafted in South London, WatchHouse brews up quality coffee from bean to cup. 
  • Monmouth Coffee Company, various locations. Located in Covent Garden, The Borough and Bermondsey, Monmouth Coffee Company are champions of coffee roasting and retailing. Heads up: for takeaways, you’ll need your reusable cup.
Monmouth Coffee (Image cc @Monmouthcoffee on Instagram)

Best places to drink

Our top two pubs for pre-marathon gatherings and post-race toasts.

  • The Devonshire Pub, Denham Street. Perfect for a pre or post-race drink, particularly if you like Guinness – that’s what The Devonshire is famed for. Plus, if you’re feeling peckish, you’ll find homemade bar food from the in-house butcher and bakery and an upstairs restaurant and grill.
  • The Crabtree, Fulham. Retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city centre to soak up the picturesque sights of the River Thames. Nestled between Hammersmith and Putney bridges, The Crabtree is a family-friendly pub that’s notable for its iconic views. Revellers love the sun-soaked beer garden on good-weather days. 
Crab Tree Pub in Fulham (Image cc @thecrabtreew6 on Instagram)

London’s hottest dining destinations

Worked up an appetite? You’re in the right place. London is home to a cultural melting pot of top cuisine. Perfect for a post-marathon celebratory meal.

  • KILN, Brewer Street. Think noodles and Thai-inspired dishes, cooked using wood-burning ovens and grills. Book seats in the basement for up to six people or, for walk-ins, keep an eye out for seats at the ground-floor counter to watch the chefs at work.
  • Berenjak Soho, Romilly Street. A dining experience with a difference. Immerse yourself into Iran’s rich cultural history at Berenjack. Inspired by the hole-in-the-wall eateries that line the streets of Tehran, expect Persian dishes, sharing plates and chargrilled kebabs. 
  • Zephyr, Notting Hill. Enjoy casual dining, inspired by Grecian culture. The blend of delicious food and a late-night bar makes Zephyr a great venue for post-marathon debriefs and celebrations with friends. 
Delicious eats at Kiln (Image cc @kilnsoho on Instagram)

Bakeries and delis

For lunch, a snack or a sugar-laden sweet treat, London’s little black book of bakeries always rises to the occasion.

  • Arôme Bakery, Mercer Street. One for the sugar-seekers. If you like the sights and smells of a traditional French patisserie, a trip to Arôme must make it onto your itinerary. Amidst the classic croissants and pain au chocolat, you’ll find Arôme’s signature offering: honey butter toast. Ooh la la!
  • Buns From Home, various locations. As the name suggests, these buns were originally made from home (during lockdown), and have since made it to Notting Hill, Sloan Square, Hammersmith and Victoria – to name just a few. This takeaway raises the game when it comes to croissants, buns, cakes and homemade bread. 
  • Boxcar - The Baker and Deli, Wyndham Place. This bakery and deli welcomes everyone – including our furry friends. It’s the perfect pitstop for a sandwich, wrap or sweet treat. 
Pain Au Chocolat at Boxcar (Image cc @boxcarbaker on Instagram)

Carb load in luxury 

Whether you’re fuelling your run or carbing-up to be a supportive spectator, is it even TCS London Marathon weekend without pasta?

  • Bancone, various locations. With locations in Covent Garden (awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand 2020-2024), Soho and Borough Yards, Bancone’s pasta is freshly handmade, every day. Relax into the informal atmosphere as you enjoy award-winning pasta dishes. Chef’s kiss.
  • Lina Stores, various locations. The fresh pasta steals the spotlight at Lina Stores – an extension of the successful delicatessen. Also serving up antipasti, dolci and secondi, expect your carb-loading escapades to temporarily transport you to Italy before you’ve even made it to the TCS London Marathon. 
  • Luci, Covent Garden. London’s first Italian dining bakery. Carb-loaders, head upstairs for the sit-down menu, which features fresh pasta and Italian classics. Bellissimo. 
Bucatini Cacio e Pepe from Bancone (Image cc @bancone.pasta on Instagram)

What to do during TCS London Marathon weekend 2024

Soak up the marathon weekend atmosphere, without tiring yourself out before the big day. 

  • Visit the LME Expo. Ready to get into the marathon mindset? Then head to the LME Expo. Here, you can pick up your bib, soak up the atmosphere, meet with fellow runners and check out the stalls of amazing brands who will all no doubt be keen to support you. 
  • Explore London in bloom. From Hyde and Regent’s Park to Battersea and Greenwich, the TCS London Marathon always takes place against a backdrop of beautiful scenery. We love Hampton Court Palace’s Tulip Festival. Here, over 100,000 tulips will be bursting into bloom across 60 acres of richly-coloured royal gardens.
  • Enjoy a West End show. London’s West End is home to some of the best performances in the world. During TCS London Marathon weekend 2024, Sir Ian McKellan is starring in Player Kings at Noël Coward Theatre. 

From your first coffee to that final celebratory meal, we hope our TCS London Marathon weekend itinerary helps to enhance your time in London. Whether you’re here to run the marathon, or to cheer from the sidelines as a spectator, you’re in for a memorable weekend. Enjoy!  

London Marathon Expo on From April 17th-20th (Image cc @londonmarathon on Instagram)

The Spectator's Guide to the TCS London Marathon 2024 

On Sunday 21st April 2024, the UK capital will once again be playing host to the world-famous TCS London Marathon – an event that’s become a popular fixture in the sporting calendar since the inaugural race on 29th March 1981. We’ve covered the route to a perfect marathon weekend with places to eat and drink and what to do and see, here. For race day itself? Here’s some handy pointers for cheering your friends and loved ones on from the sidelines. 

Where does the TCS London Marathon route start and finish?

The 26.2-mile TCS London Marathon route starts south of the River Thames at Blackheath, passes through Greenwich and crosses the river, over Tower Bridge. It continues through central London before runners cross the finish line in front of Buckingham Palace. So, where are the best places to enjoy the sights and soak up the atmosphere of this globally-celebrated event? It all depends on the kind of experience you’re after. 

Popular TCS London Marathon viewing points

If you’re looking to enjoy the energetic TCS London Marathon atmosphere, one of the most popular places to stand is on the 1.5-mile stretch between Tower Bridge and Limehouse. Spectators love this viewing point for its two-in-one view of participants running east towards Canary Wharf, before looping around the Isle of Dogs and then heading west for the finish line. This gives you two chances to cheer for your runner, without moving places. The largest crowds tend to gather around Cutty Sark, Tower Bridge and of course, at The Mall for the grand finale. 

Where are the quieter places to watch the TCS London Marathon?

If you prefer a calmer viewing point, head south of the River Thames, to Woolwich. If you stand at around the three-mile mark, you’ll likely find that most other spectators at this stage of the race will be rushing to get to the popular landmarks like Cutty Sark, Tower Bridge and the London Eye. From Woolwich, you might like to head to Woolwich station on the Elizabeth line to Canary Wharf, which is around the midpoint of the race. Canary Wharf’s best viewing points are at South Colonnade, Cabot Square and Westferry Circus.

What are the best accessible viewing points for the TCS London Marathon?

There are plenty of accessible viewing points for marathon spectators with disabilities. These are:

  • Cutty Sark
  • Canary Wharf
  • Rainbow Row (usually known as Butcher Row)
  • Tower Hill
  • Victoria Embankment 

Head to the TCS London Marathon page for more information, including the what-three-words addresses for these locations. 

London Marathon Route 2024 (Image cc London Marathon)

Where’s the best place to view the TCS London Marathon finish line?

If you’re looking to support your runner as they make their way to the famous marathon finish line, hop on the Jubilee line westbound from Canary Wharf to Waterloo. Here, you can change to the Northbound Bakerloo line to Charing Cross. Then it’s just a short walk to view that all-important final stretch of the race.

10 TCS London Marathon tips for spectators 

How to make the most of a marathon weekend as a spectator? Here’s our ten tips.

  1. Map out your chosen route before the race. Get familiar with where you’re going. You don’t want to risk missing your runner whilst you’re trying to find your way around.
  2. Stay close to the nearest tube station. This’ll make for a quicker transition to your next planned viewing point. 
  3. Avoid the bus. There tends to be lots of transport redirections on marathon day, due to road closures. 
  4. Don’t forget your camera. It’s a good idea to take camera, so you can use your phone to track your runner. 
  5. Take plenty of snacks and drinks in your backpack. The TCS London Marathon is always a long day.
  6. Wear comfortable shoes. You’ll be walking around a lot. 
  7. Pack plenty of layers. Being prepared for changing weather conditions is essential. Suncream, warm layers and waterproofs, always.
  8. Agree how you’ll track your marathon runner beforehand. If you both download the Official TCS London Marathon Tracker App and your runner carries their phone with them during the marathon, you can track their precise location. Otherwise, you’re limited to monitoring when they pass one of nine timing gates.
  9. Agree on where you’ll meet with your runner after the race. Of course, it goes without saying that the TCS London Marathon attracts a huge crowd, so be prepared for delays.
  10. Make yourself easy to spot in the crowd. Wear bright colours. Use props. Take balloons with your initials on. Make a supportive sign. Anything goes here. 

By planning ahead, you’ll set yourself up to enjoy the celebrated sights and atmosphere that the TCS London Marathon has to offer, as well as supporting your runner through what is likely to be one of the biggest, most challenging events of their lives. 

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Let’s Do This’ 10 steps to race day success

T’is the season to start putting that marathon training into motion. Our team at Let’s Do This HQ have shared their top ten tips for getting the most out of your event. Here’s what to start planning now.

T’is the season to start putting that marathon training into motion. Our team at Let’s Do This HQ have shared their top ten tips for getting the most out of your event. Here’s what to start planning now. 

1. Start slow.

The saying “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” couldn’t be any more fitting than when it comes to marathon day itself.

“In a race, everyone will be flying off the starting line, pumped full of adrenaline and excitement – don’t follow that crowd. Start off nice and easy. Know your goal pace and stick to that. You’ll end up overtaking those people later in the race, which will feel much better than them overtaking you”.

2. Prioritise rest.

Tick off your tasks well ahead of race day – and then relax. 

“Take it easy the day before the race. I’ve made the mistake of walking 30k steps around the expo the day before a race. Go to the expo and do any other prep earlier in the week if possible – you’ll thank yourself on race day”.

3. Carb loading is key.

Have a plan in place for when you’ll start upping your carb intake – and by how much. 

“Increase your carbs earlier in the week. For example, load up on carbs Wednesday to Friday,  then have a normal meal on Saturday to give your stomach a break. Also, the golden rule: nothing new on race day. If you’re feeling tired during the marathon, don’t be tempted by a gel you’ve never tried before at the gel station. This can cause havoc in your stomach”.

4. Display your name clearly.

If people can see your name, they’ll cheer you on. 

“Don’t forget plenty of safety pins to display your number prominently – and make sure your name is easy to see on your front. There’s nothing better than when people you’ve never met before are screaming your name.. People love to cheer you on, especially in London!” 

5. Practice in your gear ahead of race day.

You don’t want to be put off by chafing, blisters or any of the unexpected niggles that can come with new gear. Smooth out those creases before race day.

“I always wear the same race day gear now because I know it works for me. A great pair of shorts with side pockets is essential to ensure I have easy access to my nutrition while running. I always bring sunglasses for no-rain days and a visor for rainy days to keep the top of my head cool. Also, put a pair of sliders in your bag to wear after the race! The last thing you want to do is put on tight trainers. Comfort is key. Oh, and a sweater for after because you’ll cool off a lot after the race”. 

6. Make a race day ritual.

Figure out your favourite way to calm the nerves and master the marathon mindset. 

“I like to listen to music to get in the zone. I know people who enjoy talking to others before a race, to ground themselves and help them to stay calm. I always focus on the moment I'm in, rather than overthinking the race. You have to trust that your training is banked and you’re capable of what you’re trying to achieve, whether that’s your first marathon or you’re trying to hit a PB. My favourite mantra is: ‘You can do hard things. Your mind will give up before your body’ – so always tell yourself you are capable”. 

7. Get enough sleep on the event lead-up.

Even if you don’t sleep the night before a race, if you’re generally well-rested, you’ll be in a better place for the day itself. 

“Pre race nerves can make it hard to sleep the night before a race but if you get a couple of good nights’ sleep before, that sleep bank will carry you through. Don’t stress yourself out too much if you have a poor sleep ahead of race day”.

8. Stay in a positive mentality.

Don’t overthink what you could or should have done differently - trust the process.

“Trust that the training you’ve done has set you up for success and always remember that you can do hard things. It can be easy to get into a negative headspace, but it is important to stay positive and stay in the moment”. 

9. Leave plenty of time on the morning of your event.

Rushing can lead to stress, which can affect your positive mindset. Keep things calm by giving yourself ample time. 

“Make sure you know where the bag drop is, in relation to where the start line is, so you can get that taken care of with enough time to warm up and get yourself in the right mindset”. 

10. Agree a communication plan with your supporters.

From how you’ll spot them mid-race to where you’ll meet afterwards, you’ll thank yourselves later for pre-planning this.

“Make sure you don’t miss your support squad by agreeing beforehand where you can expect to see them during a race. Make sure your loved ones have a big obnoxious sign or even a large inflatable balloon to set them apart from the crowd. If you want your crew to support you during the harder bits of the race, get them set up at the right mile for a boost of energy when it matters most”. 

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Everything you need to know if you're running the TCS London Marathon 2024

Heading to the TCS London Marathon on April 21st? Save your energy for the iconic track – when it comes to planning the best route to a memorable weekend, we’ve done the hard work for you. From must-book restaurants to the best spectator spots and of course, everything you need to know from lace-up to cool-down, here’s your ultimate guide to the TCS London Marathon 2024.

Running the TCS London Marathon 2024? Here’s all you need to know

Running the TCS London Marathon? First of all, congratulations. This is a huge achievement that takes patience, practice and determination (then gives you bragging rights for the foreseeable). We’ve rounded up the top tips to make the most of marathon day, including where to go for everything from official information to free pizza. You’re welcome. 

5 things every runner needs to know on marathon day

  1. Check your TCS London Marathon email. For all the accurate and up-to-date information about start times, meeting points and more, you’ll need to check your email from the TCS London Marathon organisers. The race starts at different times for different runners. This email holds all the information you need that’s specific to you and your start time, so do check. 
  2. Download the TCS London Marathon app. This is a game-changer for race day. It tells you all you need to know about getting to the start line – including when and how best to travel to the runners’ village in Blackheath, for example. You’ll be given a tube stop that’s best for your start time and wave. It’s worth sharing the app with your race-day supporters; it has lots of handy tips for them on there, too. 
  3. Agree on a post-race meeting place. After you’ve grabbed your bags from the collection area, sweaty hugs and celebrations are in order – it’s time to meet your wonderful supporters. The official meet and greet area is at Horse Guards Parade. Here, you’ll find signs that show all the letters of the alphabet. Before the race, agree on a letter to meet under. Don’t rely on calling your friends and family – the huge crowds often mean unreliable phone signal. 
  4. Make the most of free travel. Docklands Light Railway, Southeastern, the TFL tube and bus services are free for TCS London Marathon runners heading to and from the race. All you have to do is make sure your bib number is visible.
  5. Scoop-up your freebies. Rewards after running 26.2 miles through London: pride, bragging rights, endorphins and – freebies. Lots and lots of freebies. You can always count on the TCS London Marathon to provide runners with plenty of perks and special discounts. Below, we’ve rounded up a few from past years that will hopefully be returning again this year.
Map of the 2024 TCS London Marathon Route (Image: TCS London Marathon)

The perks of being a marathon runner 

Of course, pre and post-race perks are different every year but if there’s one thing for certain, you can expect to be treated like royalty after running the TCS London Marathon 2024. In fact, you’ll literally finish the race outside of Buckingham Palace and if that’s not a sign of your post-race treatment, we don’t know what is. The below freebies tend to be the same each year, but check back here closer to the race for any changes. 

  1. Stamped race poster at Tracksmith 

Tracksmith’s London store on Chiltern Street in Marylebone usually offers a commemorative race poster, stamped with your TCS London Marathon time (21st-22nd of April). While you’re there, it’s also worth checking out Tracksmith’s range of limited-edition TCS London Marathon gear.

  1. Free burger and beer at Bill’s

Restaurant chain Bill’s traditionally offers marathon runners a free burger and a beer in any of its London branches on race day. Book on the website to guarantee a table or wander in with your fingers crossed and hope there’s space. The four Bill’s restaurants closest to the route are found in Soho, Covent Garden, Victoria and Clink Street (Bankside).

  1. Free burger at MEATliquor

You can head to any of MEATLiquor’s London locations on race day and show your medal for a free burger from the menu, which includes vegetarian and vegan options. The nearest restaurant is MEATLiquor W1 on Margaret Street, near Oxford Circus, which is a little over a mile from the meet and greet area in Horse Guards Parade. This offer is available at any of MEATLiquor’s nine London branches, though. If you’re a TCS London Marathon volunteer, you’re usually eligible for a free burger, too – just show your badge.

  1. Free meals at The Real Greek

The good people at The Real Greek have been dishing up free meals to marathon runners for years and hopefully 2024 will be no exception. Flash your medal to get a free Greek plate (vegan options available). The offer is usually for dine-in customers only, but can be used at any branch including those outside London. The nearest one to the marathon route is in Covent Garden.

  1. Pizza At Franco Manca

In the past, marathon runners have been welcome to take their medal into any Franco Manca restaurant on the Sunday of the race, or the Monday after, to grab a free pizza. If that’s the case in 2024, you can expect an announcement on Franco Manca’s social media channels, so keep an eye on those.

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How to enjoy training, triathlons and progress, with Tej Thaker

Get set for serious training and triathlon inspiration. Our interview with Tej Thaker had the team at Let’s Do This HQ shaking up their training rituals and exploring new races to take part in.

Get set for serious training and triathlon inspiration. Our interview with Tej Thaker had the team at Let’s Do This HQ shaking up their training rituals and exploring new races to take part in. As well as being a Team GB AG triathlete, triathlon coach, and duathlete, there’s one more thing Tej has under his belt that fascinated us: sweets. And cake. In fact, Tej’s love for all things sweet led us to realise that his success is largely down to his ability to enjoy himself. Here, he shares how you can do the same. 

How did you get started with triathlons?

I started with a super sprint which is the shortest one, then worked my way up and got the triathlon bug. My first super sprint I took on was a race that included a 400-metre swim and I think it was only like a 10 or 12K bike ride, followed by a 2.5K run. Really short distances, but this made for a good entrance into triathlons. Once I got the triathlon bug I went from super sprint to sprint, to Olympic distance, half Ironman, then Ironman.

What’s been your favourite triathlon so far?

Well, the best triathlon I've done – it's a bit emotional – I lost my brother in 2018, and I did one in his memory. I’m a triathlon coach so for this one, I coached 90 people from the age of 9 to 65. We did training sessions at Lee Valley Olympic Park and in the Olympic pool, and went to Shepparton for open-water swimming and park run events. That was probably the most emotional and best race that we did because there was so much feeling behind it. 

What’s your favourite thing about triathlons, running, and/or cycling?

For me, it's all about the racing and the community aspect. I love when you go to a park run event and everyone’s there, having a good time. I also love the geeky side of going in hard with my training and trying to get faster. It takes so long to get a little faster, but I really like that. Once I realised that I just need to be consistent; put my trainers on, go out for a run, get out for a bike ride, that’s when I really began to enjoy it. No one's ever done a training session where they feel bad for having done it, so you need to just do it. 

Do you have any tips when it comes to training motivation?

Focus on having fun, rather than getting lost in the stats. As you get into triathlon and into running and cycling, it can be quite geeky. It can feel intense when everyone's talking about their pace, speed and distance. For me, there’s fun in just putting your shoes on and going for a run or a bike ride. It doesn’t always have to be about the distance or pace. When you focus too much on the numbers and the details it can take the fun out of it and you can lose interest or become disheartened. Who cares about that stuff if you had a good time?

What's your favourite running or cycling route?

I do a lot of cycling around Richmond Park because I'm based in London. I find it hard to go out somewhere where it doesn't take me over half an hour to get to because I have a young family now. I can get to Richmond in 20 minutes, and then I just do loops there, which I actually really enjoy, despite the monotony. 

What's your best advice for anyone starting out?

  1. Just start. Start really easy and make it achievable. By starting small you’ll be less tempted to procrastinate. Once you’ve got going, then you can challenge yourself to level-up and set yourself goals.
  2. Enjoy yourself. This is the most important thing. It's all about consistency and enjoyment. If you don't enjoy it, you're not going to be consistent. 
  3. Buddy up. By training with a friend or joining one of the hundreds of run / cycling clubs, you’ll find that you’re held accountable for your own progress. 

What's in your running belt or your backpack when you go on a long run?

Sweets. You know the pockets [in running clothes] that sports companies will advertise as a credit card holder? In mine, I've got just sweeties - soft raspberry drumsticks and stuff like that. I also keep my keys in there. I wear a Garmin too, all the time.

Have you got any pre or post training rituals? Do you do anything in particular for beforehand or when you come back?

I always have cake. I actually make my own now as I really enjoy baking (at the moment, I’m really loving this ginger cake recipe I’ve found). Plus, making it yourself means you can enjoy it fresh out of the oven. I do overnight oats, so make it the night before, and then I have it after my training session, followed by a zen moment.

Do you have any other pre or post-race rituals? 

Normally, if I'm doing an early morning long run, I just go off empty. I'll have a coffee, and that's about it. For post racing. there's nothing that I consistently do; other than make sure I'm getting good fuel in. I mean, as much as I love cake, having good protein is important. It's easy to think that you have to be really strict with yourself when you're doing a sport at any level, but you don't need to. 

Any events on your race calendar that you’re particularly looking forward to?

I've got the European Duathlon Championships in Portugal, so I'm looking forward to that. I'm really excited about it. I used to put a lot of pressure on myself to have a big race for the year but something switched in my head and I’ve realised that for me, it's more about consistency than taking on big races. Now my goal is just to better my times. I'm trying to get my 5K time down. So to answer the question, the European Championships is my big race for the year, alongside lots of little races and a few 5K runs, which I'm looking forward to.

If money were no object which race would you do?

I'm gonna do a couple of days cycling in Italy. So I plan to go to the Dolomites. Another thing I really wanna do is some days of the Giro, and the Tour de France. I’d prefer to do the Giro, because, coffee cake and pizza. I'm not a big fan of French food and for me, the race I do depends upon the food sometimes. 

What's your favourite event you have ever done?

The Dorney Lake triathlon, because it's got a lap circuit and closed roads. It's where they hosted rowing in the Olympics. The atmosphere is great because it involves just doing laps around the lake and there’s a really nice, family environment with ice cream vans around, kids enjoying themselves, people with their dogs. A real community environment. And the land is flat, which is a key detail for cycling and running. 

There we have it. We found Tej’s interview so insightful, particularly when it comes to staying grounded in ourselves and tracking our own progress, rather than getting lost in comparison. Oh, and keeping sweets in those coin pockets in your running shorts – genius. If Tej has inspired you to take on an event, check out the best triathlons on Let’s Do This and why not sign up? Until next time, we’re off to bake a cake to eat before our next training session – #balance.

7 key staples for carrying your running essentials

7 key staples for carrying your running essentials

Trainers? Check. Water? Check. Long-distance running essentials? Before you start upping your mileage, check you’ve got these 7 key staples that’ll go the distance with you.

One of the many great things about running is that you need little more than a pair of decent trainers, comfortable running clothes and a water bottle to get started. When you begin going the distance, though – endurance races, marathon training, or trail runs, for example – you’ll need to think about taking extra gear, including plenty of food, water, energy gels, suncream, a camera, and so on. Here, we look at seven key clothing and accessory staples that’ll see you through every running scenario.

1. Hydration vest - SPLURGE

For a hydration vest that goes the distance, reach for the ADV SKIN 12 by Salomon. Designed with endurance races and long-distance runners in mind, this one’s packed with practicality and promises not to weigh you down. For on-the-go water access, it carries 12 litres in the two soft bottles (included). Plus, it boasts extra space for a 1.5 litre reservoir. Not forgetting somewhere to stow your other running essentials, it features an expandable storage compartment, one back pocket, two front zipped pockets, two shoulder pockets and one stretch top pocket. What more does a run-thirsty athlete need?

2. Hydration vest – SAVE

For a budget-friendly alternative to Salomon’s vest, try this lightweight hydration pack by UTOBEST. It has space for two 350ml soft flasks to the front and is compatible with a 1.5 litre bladder to the back. Alongside the two water bottle pockets, it features one main compartment and three small storage compartments for keeping those little extras safe. Plus, with reflective strips to the front and reverse, this vest packs an extra punch when it comes to running or riding in dark conditions.

3. Running armband

Who said you can’t keep in touch on the track? A smartphone armband like this one by Ronhill says otherwise. This is the easy way to keep your phone closeby so you can run hands-free, whilst still tapping into the tech that spurs you on – whether that’s your tracking apps, favourite tunes, telephone calls, or all of the above. Simply strap it on, secure it and you’re ready to run.

4. Waist belt

A good running belt will take care of your possessions without slipping, bouncing, or chafing whilst you’re in motion. This FlipBelt is a reliable option, with its pull-on, buckle-free design and slip and bounce-free fabric. The moisture-wicking material stays soft and dry even when you’re working up a sweat, whilst four pocket openings provide the perfect drop-off for your earphones, phone, cards and cash. An internal key loop provides extra peace of mind, even amidst the most overgrown trails.

5. Triathlon tribelt

Triathletes, have you ever wished for an easy way to secure your race number in place during transitions? A triathlon belt is your answer. It’s a stretchy waist belt that buckles shut so you don’t even know it’s there and it allows you to quickly and prominently display your number during your swim, run and cycle. This ZONE3 design boasts all of the above, plus three loops to store your energy gels in. Handy.

6. Storage-ready shorts

Sure, you can slip on a decent pair of shorts and complete your run in comfort, but these men’s High Point 2-in-1 shorts by Brooks are the smart, storage-ready option for gents looking to blaze a trail. Designed especially with trail running in mind, this pair features a 360-degree waistband pocket for packing in the snacks – as well as larger items, like soft flasks. The functionality doesn’t end there. Split sides enhance your range of motion for those uphill climbs and overgrown trails are no problem, either; the superior ripstop fabric stops unwanted tears in their tracks - even in the most rugged environments.

7. Pocket leggings

Leggings with pockets are always a firm favourite with runners. Easy slip compartments offer the perfect place for cards and a phone. There’s a reason this Zero Gravity pair by Sweaty Betty have been voted “Best Leggings” in the Women’s Running Awards. Not only do they wick away sweat during intense sprints; they feature a back zipped pocket for safe storage and two side slip pockets for easy on-the-go access to your essentials. Finished with a flattering high-waisted design, adjustable waist and bum-sculpting technology, you can count on this one-and-done wonder pair to boost your running, storage and body confidence game.

5 reasons why The ROC Trilogy is a must - for everyone

5 reasons why The ROC Trilogy is a must - for everyone

The beauty of THE ROC Trilogy? It’s a challenge like no other, but you don’t have to be an elite athlete to take part. We caught up with personal trainer and resilience coach Slav Josephson to find out what he thinks makes the ROC so special.

After a near-death experience with sepsis in 2021, the first endurance event that personal trainer Slav Josephson took on after leaving the ICU, was THE ROC Trilogy. He caught THE ROC bug and has since been encouraging his clients to take part, too. So, why do people of all backgrounds love THE ROC Trilogy so much? What makes it so unique? We caught up with Slav to find out. 

1. It’s inclusive and beginner-friendly

The beauty of THE ROC Trilogy? It’s a challenge like no other, but you don’t have to be an elite athlete to take part. Slav believes it’s the idea of cut-off times that puts people off taking part in endurance events. With THE ROC Trilogy, you needn’t worry about that. “THE ROC is super good with stuff like this”, says Slav. “Even if you don’t make the cut-off time, the team still lets you finish the race. With THE ROC Wales for example, you have a time to meet at a certain point up Snowdon. If you don’t make that time, you can just turn back and finish the race, without running the full distance, you will still get your medal just with a different ribbon. If you want to encourage people to do events like this, that’s a massive part of it, because then they’re not scared about not completing it”. 

2. The breathtaking views

THE ROC Trilogy offers views like no other. During THE ROC Wales, you’ll witness panoramic views from Snowdon. THE ROC England will see you biking past Coniston water. THE ROC Scotland promises tip-top views of Ben Nevis – to name just a few of the highlights. Slav’s favourite one to take part in is ROC Wales. “Wales in particular is just on a different level”, he says. “You start off at the sea on the beach, go through the forest, pass waterfalls and rivers. The 50k distance goes by just like ‘that’ because you’re just like ‘wow, wow, wow’. It’s like the whole world is condensed into one spot”. One thing that’s an absolute must on your packing list: a camera. 

3. It’s a huge confidence boost

Speaking of THE ROC Scotland, Slav says it’s the toughest challenge he’s ever taken on but that the feeling of completing it has boosted his confidence. When he took part, it was during the peak of a bad storm. “People who were supporting me were like ‘we’re getting weather warnings and they’re shutting train stations – but Slav is doing THE ROC!”, he says. “I literally had cramps everywhere but when I crossed that finish line, the feeling was unexplainable. A massive chunk of people never turned up and a big chunk didn’t finish. Being part of those who finished, it makes you realise your strength and you can transfer this into everyday life. When something happens in your life – like my illness – you think ‘if I can do that, I can cope with tasks in everyday life, as well’”, says Slav. If that’s not a good reason to take part, we don’t know what is.

4. The warm welcome

THE ROC Trilogy welcomes you into an inclusive community. “It’s nothing like the other big brands of triathlons where you’re literally just a number”, Slav says. “THE ROC is very family oriented. Everyone knows your name and there’s lots of chat before the race. There’s no egos. If anything needs sorting out, the team will do their best to help. With other brands, if you need help with anything, they will just send you a link to the rules”. As well as the support from THE ROC’s event organisers, Slav notes a great sense of camaraderie amidst his fellow participants. He says: “This guy, Iain, he wins everything. I don’t know how he does it. People who win other events I’ve taken part in, they wouldn’t just stop and chat to you – because they’re winners. Iain [winner of THE ROC] stops and talks, we message on Instagram. That’s the great thing about THE ROC”. 

5. It enhances your training regime

Training for THE ROC Trilogy involves strengthening all areas of your body through swimming, biking and running. This enhances your training regime and reduces your chance of injury in all disciplines. Taking part in an endurance event like THE ROC “will keep you in your training regime”, says Slav. “The fear factor makes you get out there and train, be nervous about it, and makes you feel alive. It’s the mental aspect, too”, he continues, “you finish the event and think ‘oh, maybe I’m better than I think”. 

If Slav’s story has left you feeling inspired, why not sign up? 

Feeling inspired? 

We thought so! Learn more about THE ROC events below:

THE ROC Wales (11th May 2024)

THE ROC England (7th September 2024)

THE ROC Scotland (5th October 2024)

To follow Slav and support him in his next endurance triathlon, click here.

5 endurance event prep tips, with coach Slav Josephson

5 endurance event prep tips, with coach Slav Josephson

So, you’ve signed up to an endurance event (good choice), but where do you start when it comes to preparing? There are a few points to consider, to make sure you get the most out of your event, whether you’re taking part as a newbie or an elite athlete.

So, you’ve signed up to an endurance event (good choice), but where do you start when it comes to preparing? There are a few points to consider, to make sure you get the most out of your event, whether you’re taking part as a newbie or an elite athlete. We caught up with personal trainer, fitness instructor and resilience coach Slav Josephson to get the lowdown on his top prep tips for endurance events. (To follow Slav or support him on his next challenge click here).

1. Consider the extras in your kit

When it comes to endurance events, the kit will take a little more consideration than a marathon, for example. Slav notes the importance of “proper trail shoes – like mid to high trainers”. You’ll be traversing rugged terrains in all weathers so specialist shoes will stand up to those demanding environments. Aside from the obvious gear and safety requirements, Slav recommends running sticks - they’ll help you to navigate tricky obstacles without breaking your stride. Finally, “a GoPro or phone camera”, says Slav, “you don’t wanna miss the views!” We couldn’t agree more. 

2. Train in your gear

Once you’ve chosen the right gear – and all the extras you’ll need to embrace the adventure – Slav recommends training in your gear before the big day. Of course, when it comes to your running shoes, you need to wear them enough during training so they’re comfortable in time for your endurance event, with no rubbing or blisters. Slav also recommends training with your backpack and running sticks so you get used to having them with you when you hit the trails. 

3. Adjust your training

Whether you’re taking on an endurance event to finish it, or you’re in it for the camaraderie and breathtaking views, you can’t go wrong in adjusting your training to meet the demands of endurance events. “I’d incorporate high elevation into one of my weekly runs”, says Slav, “as well as a brick session run – usually followed by a bike or mountain hike, or even a treadmill session or spin”. Brick training refers to training that features two different disciplines – usually a run followed by a biking session. Many athletes find it useful for getting their bodies used to moving from one sport to the next in a single session, without experiencing the dreaded “jelly legs”. 

4. Train hard, but don’t stress over speed

The best part of an endurance event is the breathtaking views and sense of camaraderie amongst your fellow participants. Whilst Slav recommends preparing your body by gradually increasing your mileage and speed, he also notes the importance of not stressing over pace and speed. When training his clients in the past, he notes that they appreciated having “no stress over cut times. “If you don’t make a certain point, you can turn around and still finish the race. Just a little shorter”, he says. Reaching personal bests are great but with an endurance event, the very act of finishing it will give you a huge confidence boost. “Just go out there and do your best under the circumstances”, says Slav. 

5. Master the endurance mindset

By their very nature, training for endurance events can take their toll as your body and mind push past boundaries you may not have come up against before. Whilst this will undoubtedly take willpower and determination at times, remember not to compare yourself to others. Your own progress is what counts. “Like with any other training, be prepared for bad days. Realise that it’s the bad days that create us”, says Slav. On the days that feel hard, remind yourself why you’re doing this, don’t take yourself too seriously and of course – think about those incredible views from the top. 

Feeling inspired? 

We thought so! Learn more about THE ROC events below:

THE ROC Wales (11th May 2024)

THE ROC England (7th September 2024)

THE ROC Scotland (5th October 2024)

Fundraiser of the month - Ryan

“I’m raising money for the Meningitis Research Foundation and for me, raising awareness is equally as important.”

How did you first start fundraising? What was your motivation?

My brother, Graham, passed away from a rare strain of meningitis in 2019, aged 20. Since then, life hasn’t been the same for myself, my family, or  his friends. This is  something that will never make sense. Graham didn’t have any of the usual meningitis symptoms; he was fit, healthy and young. The illness took him within hours.

Why did you choose the Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF)?

Since Graham’s death, I’m committed to raising as much money as I can for the Meningitis Research Foundation and for me, raising awareness is equally as important. When you’re at university, you think you’ve got your whole life ahead of you, but meningitis can strike very quickly. I encourage everyone to look up the symptoms of meningitis. It can affect anyone at any time. Being knowledgeable about this killer disease could help save the lives of those close to you.

What support do you get from the Meningitis Research Foundation? 

The MRF are very supportive. They offer  regular fundraiser check-ins, training webinars, a Facebook group for fellow marathon runners and  of course, massage and plenty of food and drinks at the end of the marathon!

What do you get from fundraising?

The key benefit for me personally is raising awareness, so I feel like I’m making a difference. There are also other benefits I’ve found such as meeting other people who have sadly suffered similar loss. I’ve made lots of friends through running and it’s given me the chance to spend time with like-minded people.

For people starting out, what are your top tips?

You don’t have to be a runner to run a marathon. Running events are about bringing people together and doing something positive. The main thing is to enjoy it. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone also gives you a great sense of achievement and is great for building resilience.

What are some of the most memorable ways you’ve raised money for MRF?

The Richmond Half Marathon was the first event I ran in Graham’s honour. Lots of Graham's friends and family ran it too. Most of us had never ran 5k prior to this, but everyone completed it. It was the first time I realised I could use running as a ‘force for good’, and since then I’ve ran in five events on behalf of MRF.

What are your goals for this year?

My personal running goal is aiming for a PB of sub 3hrs 25 in the 2024 TCS London Marathon . I’d better continue with the training!

My ongoing life goal is to raise both money and awareness for the Meningitis Research Foundation. So far we’ve raised over £36,000 in memory of Graham and I will continue to fundraise to defeat meningitis. If I can help raise awareness and it saves another family from going through what my family have been  through, then I will have made a difference.

I think Graham would be really proud of us. My just giving link is https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/RyanW2024

Learn more about MRF and how you can get involved here.

Top reasons to sign up for a charity run today

Looking for fresh training motivation? Want to make a difference with your running? Signing up for a charity run may just do the trick.

Looking for fresh training motivation? Want to make a difference with your running? Signing up for a charity run may just do the trick. Other than raising money for a great cause, there are SO many reasons to get involved. Here, we take a look at why you might like to sign up for a charity run. 

Enjoy extra support

Once you’ve signed up for a charity run, you’ll find you get plenty of support from your chosen charity before, during and after the race. Each charity has its own way of supporting runners but fundraising tips, training plans and branded T-shirts are all pretty common. Some charities even offer post-race massages and parties, or waterproofs and extra kit on the day, to make sure unpredictable weather can’t rain on your parade. 

The fun of fundraising 

The joy of charity running can begin long before the start line. If you plan to go the extra mile with your fundraising, what better time to arrange a social event and help spread the word? Whilst pre-run fundraising events aren’t a requirement, they’re the perfect excuse to get creative, get your friends together and get your sponsorship form filled. 

The roar of the crowd

Most charities have designated cheering points where supporters can give you an extra-loud cheer and shout out your name on the way past. They’ll usually direct your friends and family here, too, so they can get a good view. A roar of cheers from family, friends and other supporters will have you feeling like a superhero for the day. 

Make a positive difference

Lacking motivation? Nothing gets you up and running like making a difference to a cause you care about. When you’re on those last few miles and your energy might be flagging, the thought of running for a charity close to your heart will help spur you on to the finish line. This is your moment to give something back. 

Raise awareness

With lots of spectators and even the chance of media coverage, marathons and other running events are the perfect place to spread the word about your chosen charity. Plus, any fundraising efforts in the lead-up to the event provide a precious opportunity to chat to your sponsors about how your charity makes a difference. 

Raise extra money through Gift Aid

If your sponsors are UK tax payers and fill out a few extra details on your sponsorship form,  the charity you’re running for can claim tax relief, which puts even more money into the charity pot. This is known as Gift Aid and makes a huge difference to your fundraising efforts. 

Reach your goals

Training for a charity run will boost your fitness, help you to set and achieve new personal bests and give you motivation to achieve your goals. On those days when you’d rather snuggle back down under the duvet, having your charity at the heart of your training will give you a good reason to get up and achieve great things. 

Socialise and have fun 

You can always count on a charity event to play host to all sorts of weird and wonderful costumes and of course, plenty of fun. They’re also a great opportunity to network with like-minded people and make friends. The positive atmosphere and sense of camaraderie at these events can be addictive.  

The charity runner’s high

There’s the runner’s high and then there’s the charity runner’s high. Can you imagine completing the race and thinking about how all your hard work will help to change lives? Not much can beat that finish-line feeling after a charity run. 

Inspiration. Delivered.

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