The BBC Good Food logo
Athlete running in race

Marathon countdown

Magazine subscription – your first 5 issues for only £5!

We've teamed up with The Virgin Money London Marathon, combining their top training tips with our nutrition expertise to bring you the ultimate countdown to run your best race ever.

Your complete four week plan...

Four weeks to go...

Girl drinking bottle of water

Food to boost performance and your longest run yet


With just four weeks to go, your training should peak this week. Aim to run on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday for 50 minutes each time, before completing your longest run (around 20 miles) on Sunday. Use this as a dress rehearsal for the marathon and let the excitement build!

Your nutrition guides for this week...

Three weeks to go…

Two bowls of porridge topped with blueberries

Nail your nutrition and begin to reduce long runs

After your longest run last week, you’ll want to start reducing your run times now to conserve energy for the big day. Aim for 40 minutes on Tuesday and Wednesday, 50 minutes on Friday and 90 minutes on Sunday. Don't be tempted to do more or you risk being sore and tired on the start line.

Your nutrition guides for this week...

Two weeks to go…

Two ladies running in the sunshine

Continue to taper and eat right on rest days

As the taper continues, turn your attention to optimising your nutrition on easy training days. Aim to run for 30 mins on Tuesday and Friday, 40 mins on Wednesday, and 70 mins maximum on Sunday.

Your nutrition guides for this week...

One week to go…

Michel Roux Jnr with an Olympic medal

Seven days to success

Take the guesswork out of meal times with our seven day marathon meal plans, and get inspired by Paula Radcliffe and Michel Roux Jr's top tips for race day. Keep training to a minimum, The London Marathon experts recommend 20 mins on Tuesday, 30 mins on Wednesday and 10 mins on Friday – and use any spare time to rest and relax.

Your nutrition guides for this week...

Two days to go...

Bowl of pesto pasta with bacon and tomatoes

Load up on carbs and plan ahead

If you’re following a carb-loading strategy, now’s the time to start upping your intake. To ensure you arrive at the start line in a serene state, plan your pre-race breakfast, transport arrangements, and lay out your clean kit so it's all to hand.

Your nutrition guides for the last two days...

Race day

Marathon trainers, number and medal

Ready, get set, go!

Don't introduce anything new at this point – stick to foods that you know work for you. Once you're triumphantly past the finishing line, recovery begins – read our top tips to rest, repair, rehydrate and refuel. Good luck!

Your nutrition guides for race day and recovery...


Comments, questions and tips

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Sponsored content