Ten London Marathon top tips from a ten-time runner

21 March 2024

If you’re running the London Marathon, or training for another race, then ActionAid supporter and Marathon-running expert Martin has some tips for you.

London Marathon runner Martin

This April, Martin will complete his eleventh consecutive London Marathon for ActionAid since 2013. Throughout the years, he has raised over £30,000 to support women and girls around the world as they tackle injustices and claim their rights.

Speaking about why he continues to support ActionAid in this way, Martin explained:

Rights and support for women and girls should be non-negotiable. Everyone, whatever race, gender or sexuality, is equal. I will continue to fight for a world in which no one is held back by poverty or prejudice from being able to live life to the full."

It’s fair to say Martin knows a thing or two about running the London Marathon by now, so he has shared his top ten tips with us on how to get race-day ready:

  • 1. Give yourself enough time to train

    Start your training early (at least 16-20 weeks before race day) and train regularly. But if life gets in the way of doing every long run, don’t worry, you can walk the last bit if needed.

    Find your training plan

  • Training run

    2. Explore your local area

    Vary your running routes when training – you can explore so much of where you live by trialing different runs (and it can beat any mile monotony).

  • Calendar

    3. Schedule your runs

    Train when you can, not when you can’t. Everyone has a busy life, so squeeze runs in before work, in the evening or whenever you have a gap. Longer runs can take it out of you, so make sure you put these in the diary in advance.

  • Runner drinking

    4. Stay fueled and hydrated

    Practice your hydration and nutrition strategy during training to know what works best for you come Marathon day.

  • 5. Shout about your fundraising

    Fundraising-wise, be bold and ask everyone you know. The worst that can happen is they don’t give anything, but sometimes even unlikely contacts can be really generous.

    Free fundraising resources

  • To do list

    6. Write a checklist

    Have a checklist for essentials to bring on the big day, such as your bib number and snacks.

  • 7. Get familiar with event day info

    Familiarise yourself with race day logistics, including bag drop-off points, restrooms and your starting wave.

    Read more

  • Underground

    8. Plan your travel

    Work out your route to the start line in advance and arrive early to help navigate the crowds and avoid any rush or stress. Remember to show your bib number (pre-race) and medal (post-race) to get free travel on the London Underground.

  • Family hug at marathon

    9. Bring moral support

    Bring support with you on the big day. My parents have made the trip to London every year – amazing! Since 2016, they’ve also been joined by my husband, James, and it’s a real boost knowing they’re there.

  • 10. Enjoy every moment

    You’re probably not going to break a world record or come first, so try to relax and enjoy the experience. London Marathon Day is so much more than beating a personal best.

    Join the ActionAid London Marathon team

Martin’s contribution to ActionAid has been remarkable.

The ActionAid Events team said;

It’s such a pleasure to have Martin join our London Marathon team every year (he’s an ActionAid hero). He’s a true advocate for women and girls' rights, and we’re so grateful for his ongoing support. We can’t wait to give him and the rest of our London Marathon team a big cheer this race day.”

If Martin has inspired you to join the ActionAid London Marathon team in 2025, get your application in now to secure one of our limited charity places. Or explore our other events.

We hope to welcome you to the team soon!