- How to prep for race day

The London Marathon countdown is on and 3 of our Rebel trainers are taking on the nations ultimate endurance race. Esmee Gummer, Georgie Okell and Ashley Fox range in their running experience level, yet all hold the same level of determination to beast the city streets. Sharing their top tips, do's and don'ts , here’s everything you need to know to prepare you for race day…




ESMEE became paralysed in 2009 and had to train her body to walk again. Leaving her with a new mental strength and a strong desire to not only defeat challenges of her own but to also help other people beat theirs too. Struggling with numerous issues from long distance running, but proving that your mental game can override any physical barriers, Esmee is the motivation you need to get you over the finish line…



LEVEL: Beginner (0 Marathons)


TRAINING SCHEDULE: 2 short runs (5-8 miles) and 1 long run (building to 20 miles), plus 1 lower body strength session and two Ride sessions.


WEARING: Adidas Trainers- I had my insoles designed personally for my feet based on my gate analysis and Lululemon leggings (the side pockets are perfect for iPhones). 


REFUELLING WITH: I am going to start using the energy gels over the next two weeks, but wine gums and H2O are currently my best friends.


MOTIVATIONAL TRACK: Give A Little Respect - Erasure

The song reminds me of my brother who was treated at Great Ormand Street as a baby and that’s who I am raising money for. If it wasn’t for them my sunshine of a brother wouldn’t be here- he is the light of my life. 




We all need to stop, take a breath and remind ourselves why we’re doing what we’re doing. Hopefully that reason means enough to you to want to carry on. It’s also a gentle reminder that the moment you are in is temporary and it soon will pass so make the most of it.



Sometimes that’s all it takes, one big smile. Life is precious, life is short ,life could always be worse than the situation you are currently in. Head high, shoulders back, breathe and thank the world you’re ALIVE.



When I’m about to face something that requires a lot of mental strength I take everybody I love with me. People who are still here, people who have passed, people I might not ever have met. I collect them all up in my head and say “come on you’re coming with me, let’s do this together”. 



GEORGIE is an experienced marathon runner with 5 races under her belt. She’s faced some mental and physical challenges along the way and has the ultimate knowledge bombs to help you prepare for the endurance run like no other…


LEVEL: Intermediate (5 marathons)


TRAINING SCHEDULE: 6 fitness sessions p/ week including yoga, strength training and non-impact cardio + long runs on the weekend.


WEARING: Nike lunar racers although this year I’m trying out the new Nike react.


REFUELLING WITH: Snacks loaded with natural sugars and protein every 45 mins, I currently love Naked bars.






On race day, be sure to apply everything you’ve learnt from your training. With the thrill of the race an d the roar of the crowd, you’ll get that feeling that you can take on the world. Use that motivation, but don’t let it run away with you and try and run faster than you’ve planned. Use your head, start on pace, and you can always pick it up in the second half if you’ve got it left in the tank.


You've worked hard. You've trained like mad. You're never totally in control on race day- there a lots of variables you'll have to deal with. But you might never experience a marathon again, so take it all in, appreciate every moment and congratulate yourself on getting yourself to that start line.






ASHLEY is on her way to completing her 10th marathon along with countless half marathons all over the world. When it comes to training programmes, understanding different terrains and digging deep for that motivation, Ash knows all you need to know when you’re taking on the 26 mile slog…


LEVEL: Advanced (10 marathons)


TRAINING SCHEDULE: Short runs 4 x p/week with a long run on the weekend, yoga 2x p/week and spin classes (which I ease off as training gets more intense).


WEARING: Brooks trainers with moderate support during training runs, Brooks racing trainers for the day of (they are lighter and allow me to pick up that pace even more). A hydration belt with my supplements and water attached (this allows me to skip through the water stations and not waste time, also I can have my own sports drinks on me that I trained with). 


REFUELLING WITH: I love Gu brand gels with caffeine added (Salted caramel and vanilla are my favourite)and cliff chews with out caffeine. I also like pretzels which have salt to replenish the salt I've lost through sweat. 


MOTIVATIONAL TRACK: Literally anything positive, with epic beats or songs that I can sing to.  





As your running training becomes more intense be sure to reduce other high-impact training before the race. If other aspects of fitness play a big role in your life, such as dancing (intense on the hips) or HIIT training and spin classes (high impact and extra cardio), consider switching to less intense activities, such as yoga. This will not only reduce risk of injury, but also improve your running with extra flexibility and mobility.



Two weeks before race day you need to ease off the training and let your body fully recover. You don’t need to smash out the full 26.2 miles before the real deal. With two weeks to go, your physical abilities won’t change much, you’ve done all the preparation you can do. Now it’s a mental game. So rest up and focus of getting your head in the game for the race itself.



Train with the supplements that you are going to use race day. There will be volunteers offering gels and energy drinks on the run, however your body is going through so much during a race, and you wont know how a new gel or supplement will react with your stomach. Pick something that works for you and train with it. Again, same goes for your race outfit. It’s tempting to hit the road in some swanky new gear, but if you haven’t done a long run in it, you’ll be getting all too familiar with chaffing and rubbing on the day. 

The marathon is an endurance event like no other. Not only a physical battle but a mental game that will test even the fittest runners out there. After months of training, be sure to prep yourself accordingly for the race day, get in your stride and enjoy pushing your body to limits you never thought possible.