This week I ran my last long run prior to the marathon… I’ll do a light jog and limber up before the big day, but anything over 10 miles get limited as us marathon runners taper our sessions in preparation for the big day… My last lengthy run before the marathon (though not my last) was one that I did all I could to perform greatly in.

The last half mile I bombed it, really fast and strong and finished on a surge which made me feel on a high prior to this Sundays marathon… It is a strategy that many training guides suggest you do… Let me explain…

Us ardent footy fans discuss who is the best player in the world -Lionel Messi or Christiano Ronaldo? it is similar to the debates of old about who you think the greatest player of all time is Maradona or Pele?

The answer to the debate often depends on their most recent performance.

One of the most basic findings in memory research is that people tend to remember the most recently presented information more. So if you give people a list of numbers, they will remember the latest numbers presented more than the middle ones.

A few weeks ago Messi scored four goals in the European cup quarter finals against Arsenal, many hailed him as the greatest player in the world… Come forward a couple of weeks, and Messi has a below average game in the semifinal where Barcelona lose to Inter. i then read in all the football blogs and newspapers about how Messi is over-rated. Ha?!

The human mind is programmed (on average) to remember the most recent information, and use that to rely on.  So it is this notion that many of us marathon runners employ to feel on a high prior to a big event… Our last run is made a good one, where we felt powerful, strong and capable, so we remember that going into a race like this Sundays London marathon.

Yesterday was the London marathon Expo event, a huge exhibition for London marathon runners. You go and pick up your race number and the chip to attach to your trainers to get your official race time, you stock up on carbo gels and get plenty of free samples, you get to eat pasta and listen to the UKs top athletes talk about training schedules and mindset for the big day…

Here is where you sign in… Later this week, this area is ram packed…

marathon expo 001
Then here is the stage where the famous athletes talk… Here on stage is UK top athlete Liz yelling offering up some of her own tips on overcoming marathon challenges on the day such as overcoming the dreaded ‘wall’:

marathon expo 004
The rest of the place is like an indoor village filled with stalls for health supplements, running gear, charities promoting other events and so much more besides… As well as all the freeby protein bars, milkshakes, caffeine supplements, massage oils, recovery elixirs and powders, carb gels, electrolyte drinks and so on… There was also one official sponsor of a different kind:

marathon expo 003The photo is unclear, probably because my steady hand disappeared once all the caffeine supplement freebies had kicked in… Bless Fullers brewery… Their ale samples were going like hot cakes and my free marathon runner goody bag had a can of their real ale inside… Get in. 😉

All this, with the famous TV theme background music for the marathon going on in the background… It leaves you in a great state of mind… Surrounded by all those people who had all that conviction to train through winter, all that discipline and determination, all that charity fundraising effort for wonderful causes, all those positive, excited faces, expectant… All of us with a common goal… It is an incredibly prosperous and abundantplace to find yourself in… I love it. I am pumped up and raring to go now and can’t wait to line up with the thousands of others running the full 26.2 miles through the traffic free streets of London for the day!

Anyone who tells you Britain is broken, anyone fed up of stress filled lives, the state of politics and the economy, global wars and the likes… Get involved with a marathon, you’ll be delighted you did.