The insider’s guide to training and fundraising
Top 5 tips from the experts
Whether you’re worried about meeting your fundraising target or getting a training plan on track for the Virgin Money London Marathon, the Meet the Experts events are your chance to pick the brains of some industry insiders.
For those who didn't make it along to the February 2019 event, fear not – here’s a run-down of our favourite expert tips.
1. The challenge is not the day itself, but the next few months to get you there
Martin Yelling is no stranger to marathons, so he knows first-hand the importance of having a training plan in place. 98% of those who start the Virgin Money London Marathon finish, which are pretty good odds. By setting small targets and sticking to your plan, you’ll be ready to nail the 26.2 mile course when it matters. Click here to download Martin’s 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon training plan.
2. Learn to balance your champagne if you plan to run a marathon
The Virgin Money London Marathon’s very own physiotherapist, Paul Hobrough, has some unorthodox advice to ensure you reach 28 April injury-free. Paul suggests strengthening your ankles through Pilates-style balances (imagine balancing a tray of drinks on the sole of your foot, if possible) to help prime your body for the big day. You can be in the chance to win a personal physio session with Paul by simply posting your training snaps with #runningfreeofinjuries.
3. Fundraising is one of the hardest things about the Virgin Money London Marathon
Jo Barnett, Executive Director of Virgin Money Giving, had some sage advice for anyone worried about reaching their fundraising target – start early.
You’re more likely to meet (or beat!) your target by creating a page early, and sharing it with your supporters. This year’s Virgin Money London Marathon App will also give your friends and family the chance to search for you and donate to your page – so be sure to have your name written on your t-shirt come 28 April.
4. Stand out, don’t be shy
Colin Burgin-Plews, one of Virgin Money Giving’s fundraising gurus, doesn’t seem like the shy and retiring type, and being a 6ft 6” guy in a pink dress means you’re bound to stand out. The more you can share the personal story behind what motivates you, the more people will connect with your fundraising and want to give. Colin takes every opportunity to bring in donations, and the 50,000 women who are diagnosed with Breast Cancer each year motivate him to complete the steps that make up a marathon. Whether it’s a £1 donation for a selfie with Colin or a Big Pink Dress wristband, make your fundraising inclusive and don’t forget it’s an adventure.
5. You probably won’t win
"But if your aim is to finish and to have fun, you can’t lose", says Mark Watson. Leave worrying about winning to the likes of David Weir, and revel in the moment of being surrounded by 40,000 people who have all set themselves the Herculean challenge of completing a marathon. Mark speaks from experience of having completed the Berlin Marathon, and to help you through the gruelling winter training, he’s making a 26.2 hour marathon podcast – available on Audible from 28 February.
So even if you weren’t able to make our ‘Meet the Experts’ event, we hope some of the information provided here helps to inspire you stay on track with your training and smash your fundraising target.