London Marathon Milestone 4: Food – Taper – Motivation 


In this FOURTH episode of our London Marathon Milestone series, we discuss the foods and fluids to INCLUDE and the ones to consider REMOVING from the diet from now until after race day to support health and strength for the BIG day! 

We also emphasise the importance of a STRICT and CONSISTENT taper in the weeks leading up to the London Marathon. This is an area of training that is often neglected by runners; however it has been shown to support overall running performance. 

This episode concludes with some motivational quotes from well-known athletes including: Mo Farah, Usain Bolt, and Scott Jurek to help maintain motivation as the BIG event draws near!



Focusing on foods to consume in the diet from now until race day. Considerations include:

  • Healthy, nutritious and balanced everyday dietary foods and nutrient choices
  • Choosing only foods that DO NOT cause digestive issues
  • Choosing snacks for training that are natural and easy to carry
  • Including complex carbohydrate foods at each meal


Focusing on fluids to avoid in the diet from now until race day. Considerations include:

  • Removing alcohol from the diet for at least two weeks before the event
  • Alcohol is known to negatively impact running performance in several ways
  • Consider Kombucha as an alternative to alcohol
  • Caffeine MAY affect performance in some runners
  • Figure out if you are a fast or slow metaboliser of caffeine


Outlining the definition of TAPERING before moving on to explore its importance in training and different recognised approaches to the Taper. Highlights include: 

  • An outline of the various approaches to the Taper i.e. the frequency, volume and intensity of training during this period
  • Nutritional approaches during the Taper period e.g. carbohydrate intake, anti-inflammatory foods 


Some inspiring and motivational quotes to help maintain everyone’s MOJO spoken by famous athletes including:

“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” – John Bingham

“Don’t dream of winning…train for it” – Mo Farah

“When you run the marathon, you run against the distance, not against the other runners and not against the time.” – Haile Gebrselassie

“Don’t think about the start of the race, think about the ending.” – Usain Bolt

“The reward of running—of anything—lies within us.” ― Scott 



  1. Now is the time to ensure your diet is free of any foods that cause digestive irritation and try not to introduce any new foods at this time and up until after the marathon
  2. We would recommend you omit alcohol from your routine until after the marathon as it may lead to both physical and psychological effects that could have a detrimental effect on your running performance
  3. Remember that with caffeine; some people may be RESPONDERS (fast metabolisers)…therefore can use it to their advantage in training and events…others may be NON-RESPONDERS,(slow metabolisers) therefore it could be detrimental to their running performance. Which one are YOU??
  4. Tapering is an important part of your training and that carefully controlled tapering could lead to significant performance benefits for athletes including runners
  5. During the taper it is thought that runners may be at increased risk of illness and injury so it is a time to focus on supporting your immune system nutritionally. Some nutrients to consider include: Vitamin D, polyphenols, Antioxidants and Beta-Glucans
  6. Finally….remember that positive affirmations are thought to help reshape our self-identity and our beliefs about what we can and cannot do. And when we change our beliefs, our actions follow. So, choosing 2-3 of the inspirational quotes we read out today and reading them daily may help keep you mentally and physically strong and motivated up until and during race day. 


Alcohol and Running; Is It Ok?

Is Caffeine Good for Running?

Endurance Running and the Immune System

Listen to ALL the London Marathon Milestone Series


The suggestions we make during this episode are for guidance and

advice only, and are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment.

If you have any concerns regarding your health, please contact

your healthcare professional for advice as soon as possible.

Aileen Smith and Karen Campbell host RUNNERS HEALTH HUB. A place for like-minded female runners who are looking for simple ways to support running performance, energy, endurance, and general great health.

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Happy Running!

Aileen and Karen