Thousands of runners from across the globe are heading for the starting line of the most eagerly anticipated race of the year – The Virgin London Marathon.
The iconic event – which takes place on April 21 – brings together a range of competitors, including charity fundraisers, serious runners and elite athletes like double Olympic hero, Mo Farah.
This gruelling 26.2 mile challenge across the streets of the capital is the ultimate test of physiological endurance and mental stamina.
From rigorous training schedules and strict diets to carefully selected footwear, professionals and competitors alike have spent months preparing for the big day.
But whether participants aim to break a record, raise money, or dress in costume, they could jeopardise their hard work – and their health – if they don’t drink enough water during the race.
On your marks, get set, eau!
Marathon runners need to consume between two to six litres of fluid on the day to remain hydrated, and to keep their bodies functioning properly.
Exercise speeds up dehydration, and runners can lose a lot of water through sweat. This could lead to a number of associated health risks, including muscle strain, fatigue and dizziness.
Some marathon runners may be out on the roads for a long time. If they are also exposed to the sun, this could lead to more serious problems, such as exhaustion, heatstroke and even collapse.
Trevor Humble, Sales Director and keen marathon runner himself from MIW explains: “A marathon’s impact on the body is extreme; especially as some runners can lose up to 10 per cent of their body’s water.
“Hydration is essential. Runners need to drink regularly and replenish lost fluids immediately. They should also start taking in more water at least two days before the race.
“Thirst, tiredness and lack of concentration are the first signs of dehydration. So if in doubt, slow down, grab a drink and take a break.”
Runners also need water to help with another serious condition called runner’s diarrhoea.
In 1998, marathon winner Catherina McKiernan suffered from stomach cramps. And in 2005, champion Paula Radcliffe was forced to take a very public toilet break.
Recovery takes a couple of days; and, with any case of diarrhoea, patients must consume lots of water to replace lost fluids.
The Virgin London Marathon 2013 has water stations at every mile from the third mile on, so runners can grab a bottle of water on the go.
The stations are several metres long, giving participants plenty of opportunity to pick up supplies.
MIW Office Solutions understands the importance of having immediate access to fresh, cool, drinking water. We specialise in supplying high quality water coolers and drinks fountains.
We can’t promise that water will keep the blisters at bay, but it can help runners to stay healthy and hydrated.
So, as the countdown to the 33rd London Marathon begins, we wish all runners the best of luck!
Here are our top tips for staying in tip top shape on the day:
• Drink plenty of water before the race
• Feeling thirsty? Then visit a water station
• Take a rest if you get tired
• Pace yourself and set sensible goals
• Celebrate your achievement!
• But avoid alcohol for a couple of days and drink plenty of water instead
For more details about the Virgin London Marathon, visit http://www.virginlondonmarathon.com/
Don’t pass us by – share your marathon stories here
Are you taking part in the Virgin London Marathon 2013?
Have you taken part in another marathon or long distance running event before?
How did you remain hydrated? Perhaps you suffered some health issues because you didn’t drink enough water.
Please share your experiences to help keep us on track!