With just over a fortnight to go until the Ikano Bank Robin Hood Marathon Events weekend, double Paralympic gold medallist, world record holder and ambassador of charity Forever Stars, Richard Whitehead MBE gives us his top tips ahead of race day:

  1. Tapering – by now you’ll have reduced your mileage significantly, allowing you to simply keep the legs moving, short km distances ticking over and the body to be rested for race day.
  2. Rest – a hugely important part of any training plan, the final fortnight in particular. Rest leads to faster recovery and mental alertness on race weekend.
  3. Nutrition – have you planned your race week and race day meals and snacks? Make sure you fuel your body well in advance. Complex carbs are really important, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Ease off on proteins and fats in the final days before the race.
  4. Hydration – as we discussed last week with race partner, Lucozade Sport, liquids are essential when running long distances. Maintain your water levels leading up to the event and try to avoid drinking too much the morning of the race, you don’t want to be sprinting for too many toilet breaks! Electrolytes are vital to maintain energy through the race too.
  5. Stay motivated – maybe it’s a training partner, online running community support or focusing on the worthwhile cause who will benefit from your fundraising efforts.
  6. Enjoy it! – running a half marathon is a fantastic achievement, be proud and celebrate every step to the finish line.

Richard is an ambassador of race charity partner, Forever Stars, supporting families who’ve suffered a stillbirth or infant loss. In 2013, Richard and his partner, Michelle were dealt one of life’s hardest blows when their beautiful daughter Emily was stillborn. They went on to found Forever Stars in Emily's memory. Together they now work tirelessly to raise the necessary funds to build facilities and to improve care for parents who also find their precious child has gone too soon. 

Their major focus in 2019 is the funding and creation of a Remembrance Garden on Highfields Park to help bereaved parents of stillborn babies and early baby loss by creating a place of "focus, relaxation and reflection for families" 

"I am very proud to be part of this wonderful team in an ambassadorial role and to hopefully be able to play a small part in helping these runners to perform at their best but most importantly, to just enjoy what is an incredible day.”

There's still time to secure your spot, visit and find out more about the race charity partners.