Event week is fast approaching, which means excitement and nerves are running high!

So, what should you do the week before the adidas Manchester Marathon to make sure you succeed and – most importantly – enjoy the challenge?

We spoke to Team GB Olympic marathon runner and professional adidas athlete Steph Kessell, who shared her 7 tips for marathon week preparation.

So, grab your notes and don’t miss this great advice from Steph!


“In the final week, your overall training volume and intensity should have dropped to less than 50% so you can get to the start line of the marathon feeling fresh and raring to go. Your last higher intensity session should be 4-5 days before the marathon and include some marathon paced intervals, but not many of them!

You can find suggested event week sessions in the adidas Manchester Marathon training plans here”.


“Sleep is the most important recovery aid. Hopefully you have been getting plenty of sleep throughout your training block but during this final week prioritise early nights and aim to get your 8 hours. It is common to not sleep very well the night before the challenge but don’t stress! If you’ve been able to sleep well in the build up then this won’t affect your event. If you can’t sleep, try to stay in bed and relax; this is still good rest and recovery”.


“You want to go into race day feeling hydrated, as dehydration has a negative effect on performance, even if it’s not that warm outside! Carry a water bottle around with you to remind you to drink regularly aiming for at least 1.5 litres a day (NHS guidance). If you have some electrolyte tabs handy then take one daily as well as the evening before the event to ensure you are extra hydrated!”


“If you haven’t worn your event day kit for a run yet then this is your final chance to test it out. You want to feel comfortable, wear the right amount of layers and avoid chafing. From sports bra, socks, heart rate monitor, race belt or hydration pack, try everything that you plan to wear on the big day, so you can feel confident on the start line.”


“At the start of event week write out a plan for the event day. What pace will you start at (or do you plan to join a pacing team to reach your target time?) When will you take on fuel? Where are the water, gels and toilet stops?

You can find all of this information on the handy FAQs Page. Map locations of the course facilities can also be found on the Route Map page. 

When you have planned this out in advance and read over it again and again before the day, then it will help you feel more relaxed, in control and confident. A detailed plan can be a good distraction from the nerves as it gives you something to focus on. Break it down into 5-7 stages and take each part as it comes.”


“Another one that will help ease your nerves! Don’t leave it until the morning of to decide how you are going to travel there. Plan out your route and leave plenty of time to get there. A leisurely start to the day will be more pleasant than a last minute frantic dash trying to find the bag drop and loos! 

Check out the handy travel page on the event website to help you get to the start line in good time.”


“Marathons often require an early start which means it can be cold. To combat this, bring a top or jumper you want to donate to charity to keep you warm at the start line. At the adidas Manchester Marathon, you can keep wearing this until the end of the start chute where you will see signs to show you where to donate it as you get close to the start gantry – just make sure that you don’t drop it too early!”


Thank you Steph for sharing your tips and advice!