"ENJOY yourself and eat as many gummy bears as you can".
That is the advice from a Brentford personal trainer for nervous marathon runners this month.
Mary Robertson, who works at the Brentford Fountain Leisure Centre, has run 12 of the gruelling races over the years and is offering some pearls of wisdom to Hounslow Chronicle readers.
It is a busy time for pavement plodders with The London Marathon on April 25 and The Brighton Marathon upon us next Sunday.
Ms Robertson spoke about the important week leading up to the big day, whether it is the London Marathon or any long race. She said: "In the last week people just need to take the time to relax and not make any big changes between now and the race, the runs should be very light runs.
"It is a fabulous experience running the London Marathon, around every corner there is someone standing there cheering you on."
While the build up to a 26.2 mile race is stressful, the local trainer said it can be very enjoyable, especially in the last week where runners can enjoy light, short runs to keep their legs ticking over.
She said: "It is all about preparing yourself, it is a big ask on your body to run that distance. Silly things that people forget are for example the kit bags, you should have warm clothes in it for afterwards and some food."
Diet is as always very important, Ms Robertson goes by the mantra that carbohydrate heavy meals are a must the day before. The ideal option being whole wheat pasta. She emphasised that running for between four and six hours is a long time to go without food, so participants should make the most of sweet offerings on the course.
"While out remember to eat, people around the course are fantastic for offering sweets like gummy bears."
And what about hitting the dreaded wall? Ms Robertson suggested fixing your attention on something ahead of you, for example a runner in fancy dress, and trying to keep that person in sight. Her main message was to just keep going unless you have an injury.
Most of all, the fitness fanatic said marathon running should be fun.
"It is a fantastic achievement. It is fantastic, the adrenalin kicks in and there are lots of people out there to encourage you. It is a great experience, ever marathon I have run I have loved."